Odds being against such striking parallel evolution, paleontologists speculate that dromaeosaurs more likely originated more than 180 million years ago, before Pangaea broke apart.
The newly discovered fossil also shows that the creatures developed slightly different characteristics after they split up.
Advanced radiometric dating technology allowed scientists to determine the mastodon bones belong to the Late Pleistocene period, or 130,000 years old, with a margin of error of plus or minus 9,400 years."The bones and several teeth show clear signs of having been deliberately broken by humans with manual dexterity and experiential knowledge," Holen said in a press release.
Experts agreed that the earliest records of human ancestors in North America is about 15,000 years old, but the discovery of the Cerutti site "shows that human ancestors were in the New World ten times that length of time," said paleontologist Lawrence Vescera.
Today's announcement of a well-preserved fossil represents the first definitive evidence that dromaeosaurs roamed South America as well.Legend: Mesoamerica = Mexico and Central America Pre-Columbian = Before Christopher Columbus Amerindian = Indigenous Indians of North and South America Paleoindian/Paleoamerican = The original Black settlers of the Americas The discovery of a bird-like dinosaur in South America has paleontologists rethinking when, where and how one group of raptors evolved.The rooster-sized dinosaur is called Buitreraptor (bwee-tree-rap-tor) gonzalezorum.What we call Laurasia eventually became North America, Asia and Europe.The other chunk Gondwana, developed into the continents of the Southern Hemisphere and India.