Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New dinosaur species unearthed in Utah

04.10.2007
The newest dinosaur species to emerge from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument had some serious bite, according to researchers from the Utah Museum of Natural History (UNMH) at the University of Utah. “It was one of the most robust duck-billed dinosaurs ever,” said lead author Terry Gates “It was a monster.”

Researchers from the Utah museum, the national monument and California’s Raymond M. Alf Museum of Palaeontology unearthed fossils of this ancient plant-eater from the rocks of the Kaiparowits Formation. Researchers announced the name of the creature – Gryposaurus monumentensis. (Gryposaurus means “hook-beaked lizard” and monumentensis honors the monument where the fossils were found.) The first description of the duck-billed dinosaur – which dates to the Late Cretaceous period 75 million years ago - appears in the Oct. 3 issue of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Gates explained that this creature could have eaten just about any vegetation it stumbled across. “With its robust jaws, no plant stood a chance against G. monumentensis,” he said. Scott Sampson, another palaeontologist with the Utah museum who was involved with the project, emphasized the massively-built skull and skeleton, referring to the animal as the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of duck-billed dinosaurs.”

Finding the skull

... more about:
»Utah »creature »monument »monumentensis

In 2002, a team from the Alf Museum, were working on a stretch of the Grand Staircase that Utah researchers had not examined. Duncan Everhart, a Pennsylvania furniture maker, is credited with finding the skull. Gates and his research team later received permission from the monument to dig deeper in 2004. It wasn’t until Utah researchers began working on the skull in 2005 that the full significance of the find began to emerge, Gates said. The well-preserved skull was initially missing key pieces from the nose region. Fortunately, the California museum had collected a box full of eroded bones, including bits of the nose bone, which was critical for identifying the creature. “I knew immediately that we had some species of Gryposaurus,” Gates said.

A toothy beast

The creature’s large number of teeth embedded in the thick skull is among the features that made G. monumentensis, as well as other closely related duck-billed dinosaurs, such a successful herbivore. At any given time, the dinosaur had over 300 teeth available to slice up plant material. Inside the jaw bone, there were numerous replacement teeth waiting, meaning that at any moment, this Gryposaur may have carried more than 800 teeth. “It was capable of eating most any plant it wanted to,” Gates said. “Although much more evidence is needed before we can hypothesize on its dietary preferences.”

While the diet is unknown, given the considerable size of the creature, the massive teeth and jaws are thought to have been used to slice up large amounts of tough, fibrous plant material.

G. monumentensis is one of several new dinosaur species found in Grand Staircase, including: a Velociraptor-like carnivore named Hagryphus, a tyrannosaur, and several kinds of horned dinosaurs. In all, more than a dozen kinds of dinosaurs have been recovered from these badlands, and most represent species that are new to science. “This is a brand new and extremely important window into the world of dinosaurs,” said Sampson. “As each new find such as this new Gryposaur is made,” Titus said, ”it is placed into the greater context of an entire ecosystem that has remained lost for eons, and is only now coming under scientific scrutiny.”

Davina Quarterman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/zoj

Further reports about: Utah creature monument monumentensis

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>