Dinosaur Tail In Mexico Desert Is A Staggering 16-Feet In Length, May Belong To Duck-Billed Hadrosaur [PHOTOS]

By Philip Ross on July 23, 2013 1:12 PM EDT

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A dinosaur tail in Mexico, discovered in the Mexican state of Coahuila. (Photo: Reuters)
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The fossilized tail of a duck-billed dinosaur, or hadrosaur, found in the Mexican desert near the U.S. border with Texas. Archaeologists recovered 50 complete vertebrae from the single articulated tail of the dinosaur that marks the first such find in Mexico. (Photo: Reuters)

A dinosaur tail in Mexico could belong to the duck-billed hadrosaur, a web-footed herbivore that roamed the earth between 145 million and 66 million years ago. The massive 16-foot-long tail has 50 vertebrae and was recovered from the desert near the U.S. border along Texas in Mexico's northern state of Coahuila -- an area with a rich history of paleontology. Researchers say the dinosaur tail in Mexico is a very rare and exceptional find.

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International Business Times reports that the dinosaur tail in Mexico is roughly 72 million years old. It took a team of archaeologists and students from Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History 20 days to completely excavate the buried dino tail, which was trapped under a rock.

While it'll take researchers more time to confirm the exact species of dinosaur, they believe the dinosaur tail in Mexico belongs to the duck-billed hadrosaur, a Cretaceous herbivore with nearly 900 teeth in its mouths and a head shaped like the bill of a duck. According to the U.S. National Park Service, hadrosaurs first appeared during the Cretaceous period between 145 million to 66 million years ago. Hadrosaurs roamed areas in prehistoric North America, Europe and Asia, and ranged in size from just 10 feet long to 40 feet long - about the size of a school bus.

The National Institute for Anthropology first became aware of the location of the dinosaur tail in Mexico in June 2012. Excavation began earlier this month, and the fossilized remains have been transported to General Cepeda, a city in northeastern Mexico, for cleaning and further analysis.

The excavation of the dinosaur tail in Mexico isn't the first hadrosaur remains to make headlines recently. Earlier this month, scientists from the University of Kansas unearthed a T-Rex tooth embedded in the tail of a Hadrosaur in South Dakota. The Daily Mail reports that the discovery proves T-Rex was not just a scavenger, as has often been noted, and that it chased down its prey.

Read more from iScience Times:

Dinosaurs Warm-Blooded: Cold-Blooded Dinosaurs Wouldn't Have Been Muscular Enough To Survive, Suggests Study

Nasutoceratops Titusi: Strange New Dinosaur Discovered In Utah Desert Has Massive Bull-Like Horns And Bulbous Snout [REPORT]

Early Bird Fossil: Is Aurornis Xui The World's First Bird Or A Dinosaur?

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