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
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
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy