All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//March
7 03, 2014

Students at Springbrook School Study Dinosaurs

By | March 7th, 2014|General Teaching|Comments Off on Students at Springbrook School Study Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Help with Writing and Phonics

Class 5 at Springbrook Primary School in Lancashire were visited by Everything Dinosaur as the children had been studying dinosaurs and fossils with their teacher Miss Foxcroft.  We looked at how big some dinosaurs were and examined the rib bones from a dinosaur and compared them to our own ribs.  Kyle, Abu and Ethan helped make a cast of a dinosaur fossil which could be put on display in the classroom along with all the other fact sheets, posters and examples of creative writing that the children had produced.  Luke and Liam enjoyed learning all about Tyrannosaurus rex and the keen dinosaur fans had even made a model of this famous Late Cretaceous dinosaur.

T. rex at Springbrook Primary School

A dinosaur model made by the class.

A dinosaur model made by the class.

Picture Credit: Springbrook Primary/Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the school stated:

“Class 5 are learning all about dinosaurs this term and they are very excited by this.  The children are working hard to develop their reading skills and they are making great progress with their phonics.”

Dinosaur Posters Helping with Phonics

Helping with phonics.

Helping with phonics.

Picture Credit: Springbrook Primary/Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained:

“Springbrook School is a Special School for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs.  It was a pleasure seeing how enthusiastically the children got involved with the dinosaur themed workshop.”

6 03, 2014

Europe’s Largest Meat-Eating Dinosaur Described to Date

By | March 6th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Palaeontological articles|2 Comments

Torvosaurus gurneyi – Monster Megalosaur from Portugal

The scientific paper has just been published that permits a new species of Torvosaurus to be announced to the world.  Torvosaurus means “savage lizard” and joining Torvosaurus tanneri, a meat-eating dinosaur known from the famous Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the United States, is T. gurneyi from the Lourinhã Formation of central west Portugal.  Based on the size of the skull material and using other fragmentary fossils from the Lourinhã Formation that had been found previously, palaeontologists estimate that this dinosaur measured around ten metres in length and weighed between four and five tons.  Based on these dimensions, this dinosaur can lay claim to the title of being one of Europe’s largest meat-eating dinosaurs described to date.

“Savage Lizard” Torvosaurus gurneyi Apex Predator of the Late Jurassic of Europe

Top predator of Portugal from the Late Jurassic

Top predator of Portugal from the Late Jurassic

Picture Credit: Sergey Krasovskiy

Authors of the scientific paper, Professor Octávio Mateus and Christophe Hendrickx of the Museu da Lourinhã, (Lourinhã, Portugal), which has just been published on line in PLoS One, collated the known fossil material ascribed to Torvosaurus spp. found in Portugal and thanks to the discovery of part of a skull and jaws, they are able to distinguish this species from the Torvosaurus known from the United States.  A study of the fossils from Lourinhã reveal a number of differences between them and the North American fossil material.  For example, the near complete left maxilla ( a bone from the upper jaw), was found in Portugal by the Dutch amateur fossil collector Aart Walen in 2006.  It was carefully prepared and it was the finding of this fossil that really gave the Portuguese scientists the opportunity to compare their material with the fossils of Torvosaurus tanneri.

The maxilla in large Theropod dinosaurs can be very characteristic, it helps to determine affinities amongst meat-eating dinosaurs and, importantly in this case, can help palaeontologists identify a new species.  When the Portuguese maxilla was compared to the maxilla of a Torvosaurus tanneri the researchers were able to point out some subtle differences.  For example, the maxilla of the Portuguese specimen had fewer teeth (less than eleven), this and other anatomical differences permitted the team to create a distinct Portuguese species of Torvosaurus.

Comparing the Left Maxilla of T. gurneyi with T. tanneri

Torvosaurus jaw bones compared.

Torvosaurus jaw bones compared.

Picture Credit: Journal PLoS One with additional notation by Everything Dinosaur

Although closely related to Torvosaurus tanneri, this new predator lived thousands of miles away on the eastern tip of the Eurasian and African landmass.  The species name honours the American artist and illustrator James Gurney who created the “Dinotopia” series of books all about a magical land where dinosaurs and people live together.  James Gurney was born in California and so from a geographical perspective he is much closer to the Torvosaurus known from the United States than from this new European dinosaur.

A Scale Drawing Giving the Approximate Size of T. gurneyi

A scale drawing of Torvosaurus

A scale drawing of Torvosaurus

Picture Credit: Journal PLoS One/Scott Hartman (A) with additional skull drawing by Simão Mateus (B)

The drawing above gives an approximate size estimate for this new species of carnivorous dinosaur.  The maxilla is shaded red in drawing (A) and the scale bar is approximately 1 metre.  The other parts of the skeletal drawing shaded blue refer to fragmentary fossil material found previously that has been assigned to Torvosaurus gurneyi.  The skull drawing (B) indicates the position of the holotype left maxilla (ML1100) in relation to the rest of the skull.  The scale bar represents 10 centimetres.  Torvosaurus gurneyi has been assigned to the Megalosaur family.

A trackway with individual prints measuring up to seventy-nine centimetres in length has been assigned to this new species.  Although it is very difficult to tie down the fossil print to a species, there is no other known Portuguese Theropod of comparable size so these trace fossils have been attributed to T. gurneyi.  Dinosaur eggs and some fossilised embryos from the Sobral Member of the Lourinhã Formation have also been attributed to this new dinosaur species.

The fauna and flora of the Iberian area of Europe in the Late Jurassic was very similar to that found in the western United States, as epitomised by the Morrison Formation.  Both the Morrison Formation and the Lourinhã Formation sediments were laid down at approximately the same time, these strata cover the Late Oxfordian, the Kimmeridgian and the Early Tithonian faunal stages of the Late Jurassic.  However, during this period in Earth’s history the continents of North America and Europe were already separated by an intercontinental sea (the early Atlantic).  Professor Mateus and his colleagues put forward an hypothesis a few years ago now, that suggested that during the Early Oxfordian and the preceding faunal stage of the Late Jurassic, the Callovian, uplift of continental plates formed temporary land bridges between Europe and the Americas.  This allowed an exchange of terrestrial faunas between the United States and Iberia.  When these land bridges were lost as sea levels rose, these two, now separate ecosystems which shared common ancestors were left to evolve in isolation.

Footnote

At Everything Dinosaur we are aware of the hyperbole that has surrounded the publication of the scientific paper on Torvosaurus gurneyi. It is certainly an impressive dinosaur and we do not dispute the size estimates (extrapolated from inferred skull size and skull size to body ratio) along with assigned limb bones and such like.  The left maxilla (ML1100) shows enough characteristics to allow a new species to be created, but the title of “Europe’s largest meat-eating dinosaur described to date”, is easier to justify than some of the other headlines used in articles.  For example, we have come across the misleading headline “Europe’s biggest dinosaur”, this is simply not true, many herbivorous dinosaurs were much bigger than Torvosaurus spp. and there are a number of fragmentary remains of meat-eating dinosaurs that could challenge the claim made by other writers that T. gurneyi is Europe’s biggest meat-eating dinosaur.  For example, the specimen of Baryonyx walkeri from the Wealden Clay of south-east England was not fully grown when it died and it could have potentially rivalled Torvosaurus in size.

5 03, 2014

Unravelling the Sequence of Deposition in North-eastern China

By | March 5th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

The Daohugou Biota – China 160 Million Years Ago

A team of international researchers based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have identified a stratigraphic sequence of Middle Jurassic deposits thanks to fossils of a salamander.  The huge assemblage of vertebrate fossils and other material has provided scientists with an exquisite insight into an ecosystem that thrived in north-eastern China around 160 million years ago.  The series of highly fossiliferous sites are being linked into one large group of sedimentary material that can be put together in terms of their geological age thanks to the common range of fossils these different locations contain.  The locations (six in total scattered across the provinces of Hebei and Liaoning), are described as the Daohugou Biota.  They form part of the Tiaojishan Formation (or at least most of the locations seem to do so), but importantly, the strata has been recognised as being much older than the Jehol Biota.  The Jehol Biota is associated with Lower Cretaceous deposits (Barremian and Aptian stages of the Early Cretaceous), however, the Daohugou Biota is dated to around the Bathonian faunal stage of the Middle Jurassic.

The Jehol Biota epitomised by the wonderfully well preserved fossil remains of Liaoning Province, is famous for its feathered primitive bird and feathered Theropod dinosaur fossils representing an ecosystem that consisted of a series of large lakes, forests and nearby volcanoes.  Periodically, the volcanoes would erupt, bury large areas of the surrounding landscape with ash and devastate the fauna and flora.  The fine grain sediments that were deposited helped preserve fossils in amazing detail.  At first, all the fossils from this part of China were thought to be of Lower Cretaceous age, after all, such beautifully preserved fossils are exceptionally rare, but it now seems that prior to the environment which formed the Jehol Biota and fossil assemblage, there existed in the same location but around 30 million years earlier another ecosystem which has been preserved in equal detail thanks again to volcanic activity.

Just like their Jehol Biota counterparts, the Daohugou Theropod dinosaurs are feathered, with a lot of anatomical detail preserved thanks to the fine lacustrine (lake) beds in which the fossils are found.  Something like 142 different vertebrate species have been identified from the Jehol Biota, Pterosaurs, feathered and non-feathered dinosaurs, amphibians, fish, lizards and of course primitive birds.  The authors of a new study, which confirm the Mid Jurassic age of the Daohugou Beds have documented at least thirty different vertebrate taxa to date, including two lizards, a tadpole from a frog, five dinosaurs, four early mammals and thirteen Pterosaurs.  Intriguingly, no birds, however, this may not be so much of a surprise as birds may not have evolved at the time of deposition of the first fossil assemblage.  What is known for certain is that a number of the dinosaur species identified to date from the Daohugou Beds are very similar to birds, Anchiornis for example, was extremely bird-like.

To read an article on the discovery of Anchiornis: Older than Archaeopteryx – Dinosaurs on their Way to Becoming Birds

At an estimated 160 million years old, the Daohugou Beds are older than all the major bird-bearing fossil strata known, no definitive bird fossil may have been identified to date, but that is not surprising as at the time of the separation of the Aves from the Dinosauria, the birds closest relatives those non-avian Theropods, are going to look very similar.  What can be inferred from the evidence is that the ecosystem preserved as the Daohugou Biota represents the closest known to that point in geological time when the birds and the Dinosauria effectively split.

The Daohugou Biota is named after a small Chinese village close by to one of these six fossil locations.  What the international team of researchers have done is to link these locations together to prove that they represent a sequence of strata that was laid down at roughly the same point in deep time.  Radiometric dating has identified the age of the strata, but it is the presence of a signature fossil that has enabled the scientists to correlate the age of the separated deposits based on the fossils they contain.  The presence of the fossilised remains of a salamander (Chunerpeton tianyiensis) links these six locations together.  This amphibian’s fossils have effectively become a zonal fossil tying these six deposits together.

North-eastern China in the Middle Jurassic – Daohugou Biota

A rich and diverse Jurassic environment dominated by small mammals, Pterosaurs and feathered Theropods.

A rich and diverse Jurassic environment dominated by small mammals, Pterosaurs and feathered Theropods.

Picture Credit: Julia Molnar

The method of using the fossils of one or more species to identify the relative age of rock strata is called biostratigraphy.  C. tianyiensis has become a zonal fossil, a role more often than not played by invertebrates such as Ammonites, Graptolites and Crinoids.

More importantly, although there are a number of families of vertebrates common to both the Daohugou Biota and the younger Jehol Biota, these two formations together represent an different ecosystems millions of years apart. The Daohugou Biota and the Jehol Biota are separate Lagerstätte assemblages that between them provide scientists with an unparalleled window into life in the Middle Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous of north-eastern China.

The Preserved Forequarters of a Specimen of C. tianyiensis (A Salamander)

Even the fine gills have been preserved.

Even the fine gills have been preserved.

Picture Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences/Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology

A spokes person from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“There has been confusion over the dating of the Lioaning and Hebei sediments, caused in part due to the large amount of fossil material that was made available to study which came from dubious sources such as local fossil collectors and dealers who rarely revealed exactly where the specimens came from, but now it seems that we have two “lost worlds” to study, one representing the Middle Jurassic and one representing younger sediments dating from the Cretaceous.  It is very likely that the Daohugou Beds will prove to be at least as biologically diverse as the fossil material that makes up the Jehol Biota, so we can expect to hear more announcements soon about further vertebrate discoveries.”

The Mid Jurassic deposits from these six Chinese locations have already provided fascinating glimpses into the weird and wonderful animals that lived in the forests and lakes that covered this part of the world 160 million years ago.  For instance, in 2008, Everything Dinosaur reported on the discovery of the bizarre fanged, feathered little dinosaur called Epidexipteryx.  It has been suggested that this little dinosaur, which was no more than thirty centimetres in length, may have climbed trees.  For fans of the Pterosauria, the Daohugou Beds have provided a whole array of basal and derived forms of flying reptile such as the Anurognathid Pterosaur called Jeholopterus ningchenensis (note the confusing name from Jehol, although according to this new scientific paper, this Pterosaur belongs to the Daohugou Biota and not the later Jehol Biota).   A number of Rhamphorhynchid Pterosaurs have been identified and sharing the same Jurassic skies was the recently discovered member of the Wukongopteridae Pterosaur family called Darwinopterus modularis.

Composite Image of the Main Slab and Counter Slab of the Holotype Material of J. ningchenensis

Pterosaur material.

Pterosaur material.

Picture Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences/Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology

To read more about the discovery of the flying reptile called Darwinopterus: New Transitional Pterosaur Fossil Discovery from North-eastern China

These sediments are also shedding light on the evolution of mammals and what bizarre forms there were in the Middle Jurassic.  Fossils of a tree climbing mammal with a membrane of skin stretched between its limbs have been found. It has been suggested that this creature, called Volaticotherium, occupied the same niche in the arboreal ecosystem as today’s flying squirrel from Asia.  Living alongside the abundant salamanders was the peculiar Castorocauda, a mammal adapted to an aquatic lifestyle with a broad, flattened tail to help it swim.

These creatures may seem strange to us, but we suspect that lurking in the finely-grained sediments of the Daohugou Beds even more bizarre vertebrates are awaiting discovery.

4 03, 2014

How to Make an Ankylosaurus Soft and Cuddly

By | March 4th, 2014|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

New Soft Toy Dinosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

Another day and another lot of new additions to the ever growing range of dinosaur soft toys.  One of our ambitions was to find a soft toy Ankylosaurus, but given that this dinosaur is often described as a “living tank”, it is not very often associated with the terms “cute and cuddly”.  However, in the Dinosauria range we now have two Ankylosaurus soft toys, a large one measuring sixty centimetres from its beak to the tip of its tail club and a smaller version, perhaps a baby, that measures forty-four centimetres in length.  They are a couple of soft toy Ankylosaurus.

Could this be a Mum and Baby Ankylosaurus?

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Described by Everything Dinosaur team members as “chunky and soft”, this is a super soft toy dinosaur.  However, we should leave the last word to the Ankylosaurus itself, it has a hang-tag that provides some information on the actual prehistoric animal.  Not to worry Ankylosaurus, team members can always send out a fact sheet written by our own dinosaur experts should anyone want to know a little more about this extremely large member of the Thyreophora (the sub-group of the Dinosauria to which all armoured dinosaurs belong).

Ankylosaurus says:

“Hello, I am an Ankylosaurus.  I have a heavily armoured body and a club-like tail to protect me from meat-eating predators.  I lived about 70 -65 million years ago.  I was the last of the armoured dinosaurs to evolve and was also the biggest.  I was a plant-eater and I need to eat a huge amount of food to sustain myself.  To aid with digestion, I produced remarkable amounts of gas… whoops excuse me!”

To view Everything Dinosaur’s ever growing range of soft toy dinosaurs, including “windy Ankylosaurs”: Dinosaur Soft Toys

3 03, 2014

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Model

By | March 3rd, 2014|Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Video Review

Team members at Everything Dinosaur, promised that they would create a video review of the new Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon model, for all those fans of prehistoric sharks that asked us.  In this short video (6:20) we discuss the merits of this replica, point out some of the features and highlight how the species or trivial name came to epitomise this ancient marine predator.

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Shark Model

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The introduction of this shark model fulfils a long held ambition for Everything Dinosaur.  We can now offer model collectors and fans of prehistoric animals a replica of this super-predator of the Miocene/Pliocene Epochs.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal models made by Safari Ltd: Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Carnegie Collectibles

Whilst we have used the specific name here, our team members tend to sit on the fence when it comes to the classification of this member of the Order Lamniformes.  We tend to refer to this prehistoric shark as C. megalodon.

2 03, 2014

Longer Days and Low Tides Bring out Fossil Hunters

By | March 2nd, 2014|Geology, Press Releases|0 Comments

Fossil Hunters Warned to Take Care when Visiting Dorset Beaches

With the longer days and the relatively calmer weather the southern coast of England has been experiencing recently, fossil hunters may be tempted to venture out onto the beach to look for fossils.  However, team members at Everything Dinosaur are urging all would-be fossil hunters to take great care as they venture out to look for ancient remains of life that may have been washed out of cliffs as a result of the winter storms.

A spokes person from the UK based dinosaur company stated:

“Although many people will be tempted to visit the Dorset coast and other coastal locations looking for fossils, we urge everybody to take precautions.  Many of the cliffs remain extremely dangerous and land slides and rock falls are very common, it is best to stay away from the cliffs.”

 Hazardous Conditions for Fossil Hunters

Dangerous Conditions for Beachcombers

Dangerous Conditions for Beachcombers

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Brandon Lennon

Over the next few weekends, thousands of amateur palaeontologists will been drawn to the area, encouraged by news of recent fossil discoveries but many will be unaware of the risks they are taking by climbing or searching too close to the falling cliffs.  The arrow in the picture above shows a person stood next to a recent rock fall, this helps to provide a sense of scale for the landslide.

Richard Edmunds, a geologist who works for Dorset County Council stated that if people were sensible then fossil hunting on the beaches of Dorset can be a wonderful experience but he advised that it was best to stay away from the cliffs.   He echoed the sentiments expressed by Everything Dinosaur team members.

The geologist went onto add:

“Yes, the fossils are coming out of the cliff-falls, but they are impossible to find in the mud.  People do get stuck which is why we have a mud rescue team in the coastguard.  It is best to look [for fossils] on the beach, where the sea has done all the hard work of cleaning the fossils.

1 03, 2014

Amazing Mass Grave of Prehistoric Whales – Algal Bloom Toxins the Probable Cause

By | March 1st, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Algal Bloom Toxins Poison Prehistoric Marine Mammals

It had been the subject of intense scientific study, a series of mass graves of prehistoric Cetaceans and other vertebrates found in the remote Atacama Desert of Chile.  The assemblage of fossils included many pristine examples of prehistoric whales preserved in sediments dated to the Miocene Epoch, the majority of the skeletons were virtually complete, so what caused these mass graves of so many ancient creatures?

In a paper published in the academic journal “The Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (Biology)”, scientists have finally been able to piece together the sequence of events that led to one of the most spectacular Miocene aged vertebrate fossil collections known anywhere in the world.  It seems that algal blooms occurred in the region and have been preserved in sediments dated as being between six and nine million years old.  These blooms of microscopic, single-celled and multi-celled phytoplankton produced large amounts of a deadly neurotoxin, which when breathed in or ingested by these animals led to rapid organ failure and sudden death.  The blooms were probably caused by a sudden increase in run-off from the Andes Mountains, perhaps as a result of violent storms.  The sediments entering the Pacific coastal area of Chile were saturated with iron and other minerals which led to the dramatic increase in algae and the eventual algal blooms that led to the devastation of local stocks of marine mammal fauna.

One clue to the cause of death lay in the position and orientation of the  majority of corpses.  Many of the whale skeletons were lying on their backs, it seems that these creatures had not become stranded but had been washed ashore already dead.  Baleen whales such as Fin and Humpback whales have a huge throat pouch.  When these animals die and the carcase starts to decompose, this pouch fills with gases created from the putrefying flesh.  This pouch acts as a huge flotation device, the belly-up post mortem position suggests that these Cetaceans died out at sea and then got washed inshore.

Field Teams Explore and Map the Fossil Rich Site

A treasure trove of Miocene marine vertebrate fossils.

A treasure trove of Miocene marine vertebrate fossils.

Picture Credit: Adam Metallo/Smithsonian Institution

In addition, the extremely well preserved and relatively undisturbed layout of the fossilised bones suggest that these bodies were washed ashore quite quickly and that the corpses were not scavenged by predators such as sharks which were abundant in these ancient Miocene waters.  Once on land, the carcases were lifted out of the surf zone perhaps by exceptionally high tides and deposited high up the beach, once there, since there were very few large predators in the arid environment the corpses lay relatively undisturbed until they were buried by sand.

Commenting on the exceptional preservation of the fossilised remains, one of the lead researchers, Nicholas Pyenson (a palaeontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History), stated:

“These big hunks of meat stranded on a tidal flat, yet there were no terrestrial predators like a bear, nothing really larger than a dog, that could dismember the carcases and carry the bones away”.

Tell-tale signs of fossil algal mats found in proximity of the skeletons also suggest it was neurotoxins from a bloom of phytoplankton that killed these animals.  Such mats are produced when algae reproduces rapidly and the population grows to many times the normal levels.  These preserved mats are orange in colour a result of their high iron content.  This suggests that large amounts of iron was dissolved in the offshore waters of Chile, most likely as a result of large amounts of iron-rich sediment reaching the sea having been washed down from the nearby mountains, to the east of the fossil site’s location.

This incident does not seem to have been an isolated event.  Four distinct layers of fossils have been identified, this indicates that algal blooms leading to such high levels of marine vertebrate mortality must have happened at least on four separate occasions over a period of perhaps ten to sixteen thousand years.  The fossil site was originally revealed back in 2010 when the Pan-American highway was being widened, although the area had already revealed a number of whale skeletons and other prehistoric marine mammals, such a concentration of large baleen whale fossils is particularly rare.  The palaeontologists have identified ten different kinds of marine vertebrates including whales, marlins, billfish, at least two species of seal, a bizarre Odobenocetops, a whale with two tusks that made it resemble an extant walrus, plus the remains of an aquatic sloth have also been discovered.  Such a mixture of different vertebrates all meeting a sudden end, made the scientists discount a virus that may have led to the deaths of a number of animals of the same species but not such a wide range of different marine animals.

A Variety of Sophisticated Techniques were Used to Study the Fossils at the Site

Examining the fossils with great care.

Examining the fossils with great care.

Picture Credit: Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian based researchers have prepared and extensive record of the fossil material, the area is known locally as the Cerro Ballena (the hill of whales) and there may be many more whale carcases buried in this region, already the fossils mapped so far represent the richest and most concentrated whale fossil site known anywhere in the world.

One of the Beautifully Preserved Baleen Whale Fossils

Near complete specimens preserved.

Near complete specimens preserved.

Picture Credit: Smithsonian Institution

Dr. Pyenson went onto add:

“The condition and arrangement of the bones, the presence of algal mats on some fossils and the fact that there are multiple species of marine animals at the site, all point to killer algae as really the only plausible explanation.  In today’s world, harmful algal blooms happen all the time.  This is the first time we can pin it down in the fossil record for marine mammals.”

The discovery also has implications for a number of extant marine mammal species.  Such algal blooms could devastate already vulnerable populations of rare inshore dolphins, dugongs and manatees.

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