Fossils of a new species of horned dinosaur found in Utah


23/09/2010

Scientists have unearthed the remains belonging to two new species of giant herbivorous horned dinosaurs in southern Utah, USA.

Create a living on the "lost continent" Laramidia during late Cretaceous period, about 68 to 99 million years ago. Area Laramidia was formed when a shallow sea flooded the ancient part of the land, now referred to as North America, and separated the east and the west. The information was published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Newly discovered dinosaurs lived in a subtropical swampy environment 100km from the fairway, which separates the ancient continent in two. They were close relatives of Triceratops (dinosaur tricorn), and belong to a family known as ceratopsians. "Ceratops" is translated from the Greek for "horned face." Mark Lowen (Mark Lowen), one of the study’s authors, said the dinosaur bore a resemblance to "a giant rhino with a big head."

The second animal was named Kosmoceratops richardsoni, with his head covered with horns, a total of 15 pieces, has a very florid appearance of dinosaurs discovered so far. Horn as it were over the nose and over each eye and one horn in each cheek bones, and ten - on top of the head.

"Kosmoceratops - one of the most amazing animals known for its huge skull decorated with bony outgrowths of various shapes," - said the study’s lead author Scott Sampson (Scott Sampson) of the Natural History Museum of Utah.

The scientist explained that, despite the possible horrific appearance, these dinosaurs did not use their horns in self-defense. "Most of these bizarre creatures should not be using their horns to reflect predators" - said Dr. Sampson. "Substantial likelihood that they used them to intimidate or fight with rivals of the same sex, as well as to attract individuals the opposite sex. "

The dinosaurs have been discovered in the desert scenic area of the National Monument Grand Staircase-Escalante, in south-central Utah - a vast area of land that Dr. Sampson described as "one of the great and the last unexplored places in the country that houses the remains of dinosaurs."

A few months later, paleontologists have found many other species of horned dinosaurs. "The new Utah creatures hit the bizarre structure of their skulls" - said Andrew FARC (Andrew Farke), one of the authors of the study, the employee Raymond Alf Museum in California. Dr. Sampson agreed with him, adding that now was "amazing to be a paleontologist." "Expanding further new species of dinosaurs, we are absolutely confident that we are waiting for a lot of surprises in the southern state of Utah."

Original: BBC Translation: M. Potter


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