Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Science Blog

Hadrosaur with huge nose discovered

"The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University, lived in what is now Utah approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. 

Rhinorex, which translates roughly into 'King Nose,' was a plant-eater and a close relative of other Cretaceous hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus and Edmontosaurus. Hadrosaurs are usually identified by bony crests that extended from the skull, although Edmontosaurus doesn't have such a hard crest (paleontologists have discovered that it had a fleshy crest). Rhinorex also lacks a crest on the top of its head; instead, this new dinosaur has a huge nose. 

Terry Gates, a joint postdoctoral researcher with NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and colleague Rodney Sheetz from the Brigham Young Museum of Paleontology, came across the fossil in storage at BYU. First excavated in the 1990s from Utah's Neslen formation, Rhinorex had been studied primarily for its well-preserved skin impressions. When Gates and Sheetz reconstructed the skull, they realized that they had a new species. 

'We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful,' Gates says, 'but the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in -- it was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.' " 

Based on the recovered bones, Gates estimates that Rhinorex was about 30 feet long and weighed over 8,500 lbs. It lived in a swampy estuarial environment, about 50 miles from the coast. Rhinorex is the only complete hadrosaur fossil from the Neslen site, and it helps fill in some gaps about habitat segregation during the Late Cretaceous."

(If Rhinorex condrupus could sing.)

 via Infidel753: 

 Check out this deep sea creature that exists today!


Infidel753 said...

To me that looks like more of a beak than a nose. Dinosaurs make more sense anatomically when one stops thinking of them as lizards and remembers that they're actually more related to birds.

After all this time we're still discovering new species. makes you wonder how many species we'll never know about because they didn't happen to leave any fossils that survived.

FreeThinke said...

Ah Sweet Mystery of Life we'll never solve thee! ;-)

The more we learn the more we should acknowledge how very ignorant we are, and how very little we really know.

Thirty feet long and over eight-thousand pounds! Herbivore or not I'm awfully glad we're not likely to find one of these foraging among the vegetation in our back yards, aren't you?

If this was, indeed, a direct ancestor of the parrot and the cockatoo, both of whom live on a vegetarian diet, I can tell you they can still use their beaks to bite you when aroused, and it can HURT.

Imagine a four-ton parrot.

CHILLING, isn't it?