Navigation Links
Newly discovered dinosaur likely father of Triceratops
Date:1/31/2011

New Haven, Conn.Triceratops and Torosaurus have long been considered the kings of the horned dinosaurs. But a new discovery traces the giants' family tree further back in time, when a newly discovered species appears to have reigned long before its more well-known descendants, making it the earliest known member of its family.

The new species, called Titanoceratops after the Greek myth of the Titans, rivaled Triceratops in size, with an estimated weight of nearly 15,000 pounds and a massive eight-foot-long skull.

Titanoceratops, which lived in the American southwest during the late Cretaceous period around 74 million years ago, is the earliest known triceratopsin, suggesting the group evolved its large size more than five million years earlier than previously thought, according to Nicholas Longrich, the paleontologist at Yale University who made the discovery. The finding, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Cretaceous Research, helps shed light on the poorly understood origins of these giant horned dinosaurs.

Longrich was searching through scientific papers when he came across a description of a partial skeleton of a dinosaur discovered in New Mexico in 1941. The skeleton went untouched until 1995, when it was finally prepared and identified incorrectly as Pentaceratops, a species common to the area. When the missing part of its frill the signature feature of the horned dinosaurs was reconstructed for display in the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, it was modeled after Pentaceratops.

"When I looked at the skeleton more closely, I realized it was just too different from the other known Pentaceratops to be a member of the species," Longrich said, adding that the specimen's size indicated that it likely weighed about twice as much as adult Pentaceratops. The new species is very similar to Triceratops, but with a thinner frill, longer nose and slightly bigger horns, Longrich said.

Instead, Longrich believes that Titanoceratops is the ancestor of both Triceratops and Torosaurus, and that the latter two split several millions years after Titanoceratops evolved. "This skeleton is exactly what you would expect their ancestor to look like," he said.

Titanoceratops was probably only around for about a million years, according to Longrich, while the triceratopsian family existed for a total of about 10 million years and roamed beyond the American southwest into other parts of the country and as far north as Canada.

In order to confirm the discovery beyond any trace of a doubt, Longrich hopes paleontologists will find other fossil skeletons that include intact frills, which would help confirm the differences between Titanoceratops and Pentaceratops.

"There have got to be more of them out there," Longrich said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Newly discovered group of algae live in both fresh water and ocean
2. Georgia Tech team helps decode newly sequenced strawberry genome
3. WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) newly released for Singapore
4. Remarkable biological complexity of bacterial cells is focus of newly released book
5. Newly discovered gene enables fish to disappear
6. Chocolate farmers could benefit from newly sequenced cacao genome
7. Body mass index and thrombogenic factors in newly menopausal women
8. Newly identified RNA sequence is key in microRNA processing
9. Newly discovered mechanism controls levels and efficacy of a marijuana-like substance in the brain
10. Rare carnivorous plant on top 10 list of newly discovered species
11. Newly discovered kinase regulates cytoskeleton, and perhaps holds key to how cancer cells spread
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Newly discovered dinosaur likely father of Triceratops
(Date:3/7/2017)... , March 7, 2017   HireVue , the ... global companies identify the best talent, faster, today announced ... Sales Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer as ... out a seasoned executive team poised to drive continued growth ... on a year of record bookings in 2017. ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the information ... partnering interests and activities since 2010. Download the ... Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth ... world,s leading life sciences companies. On demand ... of the most up to date deal and company ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... , March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), ... that Richard P. Moberg has resigned, effective ... and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing ... serve as a member of the Board of Directors ... Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... SHANGHAI , March 29, 2017 ... technology platform company dedicated to biologics and a ... received the 2017 Asia-Pacific Best Bioprocessing Excellence Award ... Asia-Pacific Bioprocessing Excellence Awards aims to recognize outstanding ... of tomorrow. Featuring top bioprocessing and biomanufacturing experts ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... (March 29, ... Mexico has been approved as an active member of the Mexican Direct ... among distributers and consumers in relationship marketing. This professional organization fosters loyal and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  Applied ... applying mechanistic modeling to drug research and ... collaboration with Zymeworks Inc. for quantitative systems ... therapeutics intended for the treatment of cancer. ... Zymeworks previously for GLP toxicology studies and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... On the heels of the ... Colpitts Clinical Trial Travel has announced that it will manage travel services for its ... the first in the United States and Europe to offer travel management services specifically ...
Breaking Biology Technology: