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80-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur in New Mexico and a Bird-Like Dinosaur in Europe

An entirely new genus and species of duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaurid) has been unearthed in New Mexico. A partial skeleton (which included a portion of its skull) was discovered at the Menefee Formation in San Juan County.

The study described how significant the area was in which the skeleton was found, “The Menefee Formation represents one of the most promising frontiers for exploring the early evolution of major dinosaur groups in Laramidia, the Upper Cretaceous landmass consisting of Mexico, the western United States, western Canada, and Alaska.”

This new species, which has been named Ornatops incantatus, was part of the Brachylophosaurini which is a group of hadrosaurids that lived in the western part of North America approximately 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Epoch.

An image of duck-billed dinosaurs.

The researchers wrote in part, “Ornatops incantatus is the first brachylophosaurin hadrosaur from New Mexico and the southernmost occurrence of the group.” “It is also the first crested brachylophosaurin discovered in the southern part of Laramidia.” The study was published in the journal PeerJ where it can be read in full.

A picture of what the Ornatops incantatus would have looked like can be seen here.

In other new species news, a bone belonging to a new genus and species of troodontid dinosaur (named Tamarro insperatus) that lived about 66 million years ago has been unearthed in Catalonia, Spain. This is the first ever solid proof that bird-like dinosaurs inhabited Europe.

Dr. Albert Sellés, who is a paleontologist in the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafon at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Museu de la Conca Dellà, as well as his colleagues went into further details, “During the latest Cretaceous (77-66 million years ago) in the run-up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, Europe was a series of islands populated by diverse and distinctive communities of dinosaurs and other vertebrates.” “Many of these animals exhibited peculiar features that may have been generated by lack of space and resources in their insular habitats.”

(Not a Tamarro insperatus)

The fact that experts now have the first ever solid evidence that bird-like dinosaurs lived in Europe is an incredible breakthrough as the paleontologists stated, “The presence of troodontids in Europe has been debated for a long time, mainly because its record was entirely based on isolated teeth, until now.” “The oldest troodontid evidence in Europe dates back to the Early Cenomanian age (100-94 million years ago) and is based on the discovery of one isolated tooth in western France.” Their study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

A picture of what the Tamarro insperatus would have looked like as well as the bone that was found can be seen here.

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Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.