Monday, July 22, 2013

New species of dinosaur found

It is rare these days when science comes across an entirely new species.

Even if it is a dinosaur fossil.

I don't talk about it much on ESE but paleontology has always been of interest to me.  So when I read of a newly found dinosaur skull in Utah, it grabs my attention.  This specimen is possessed of an oddly long nose and large, front-facing horns.  This places it as a relative of the ceratopsidae family, a genus that includes the triceratops.  It also suggests that in a relatively short span of time, one million years, two separate populations managed to evolve from the same family.  That is rather speedy evolution.

The dinosaur has been named Nasutoceratops titusi.  The significance of the name, as stated on Discover magazine's site, is:

" The naming of the species is predictably logical, if complicated-soundingNasutus (large-nosed)ceratops (horn-faced)titus (Utah paleontologist Alan Titus)Nasutoceratops titusi." 
What's interesting about this species to me, at least according to artist's interpretations based on the skull, is that the horns look more like a current day's bull as opposed to triceratops.  They also extend outward instead of upward.  There will of course be more quillets ahead as scientists narrow down the particulars of the species, but in terms of overall size, it is thought that this dinosaur would be over 15 feet in length and would weigh in at about 2.75 tons.

Sure, it's great to have new discovery, but I'm holding out for the possibility of cloning it.  Would love to ride this guy around campus.

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1 comment:

  1. On Facebook, MelissaP said: "I'd like to see that!"

    Of course! You can hop on too. :)