Saturday, January 21, 2012

New species of dinosaur discovered in museum


Bone-bothering boffins have exposed a totally brand new species of horned dinosaur , in spite of having parts of its skull for the last hundred years.

The fossilized remains of parts of the skull of the Spinops sternbergorum were exposed in 1916 by father-and-son fossil-collectors Charles and Levi Sternberg. They thought they had establish a brand new species and sent the fossils to the Natural History Museum in London.

But the museum determined that the fossils were too little to be exhibited, so they were filed away for decades. Andrew Farke, guide author on the study that named the Spinops, said in a statement.

"My colleagues and I were enjoyably amazed to discover these fossils on the museum sill, and even more surprised when we resolute that they were a previously unidentified species of dinosaur."

The Spinops lived approximately 76 million years ago in Canada. The dinosaur was a plant-eating slighter cousin of the Triceratops that weighed approximately two tons.The primitive lizard had a solitary horn on its nose and a skinny neckline decoration that had at least two long, backward-projecting spikes as well as two forward-curving hooks, which are the sole skin that differentiate it from other horned dinosaurs.

Although Spinops' face looks very like to that of its close relatives Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus, the bony neck frill gives boffins a improved sympathetic of how this structure evolved.

"In particular, the fossils of Spinops explain the recognition of the extended frill spikes ordinary in some horned dinosaurs,"

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