Thursday, August 7, 2014

...but no best friend yet.

Small Dog-Sized Dinosaur Discovered in Venezuela

Researchers have unearthed numerous teeth, hip, and leg bone fragments that belong to a new dinosaur species they’ve now named Laquintasaura venezuelae. It’s the first dino found in the north of South America.
The 201-million-year-old fossils belonging to at least four Laquintasaura individuals were discovered in Lower Jurassic sediments of the La Quinta Formation of the Venezuelan Andes. The newly discovered dinos are early members of a group known as ornithischians -- or “bird-hipped” dinosaurs -- which later would give rise to Stegosaurus, Iguanodon, and Triceratops. The other major order of dinosaurs are called saurischians, or “lizard-hipped” dinosaurs, and these include T. rex and Diplodocus. (Interestingly, birds evolved from these guys, not the bird-hipped ones.)
An international team led by Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum in London described the new species in Proceedings of the Royal Society B this week. Laquintasaura walked on its two hind legs and was about the size of a small dog. The largest femur found was 90 millimeters long, suggesting that the bipedal dinosaur’s total body was about one meter in length and 25 centimeters tall at the hip.
Read more here

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