Rare hoary of a horned dinosaur found from ‘lost continent’

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A singular hoary from eastern North America of a dog-sized horned dinosaur has been identified by Dr Nick Longrich. The hoary provides justification of an east-west order in North American dinosaur evolution.

During a Late Cretaceous period, 66-100 million years ago, a land mass that is now North America was separate in dual continents by a shoal sea, a Western Interior Seaway, that ran from a Gulf of Mexico to a Arctic Ocean. Dinosaurs vital in a western continent, called Laramidia, were identical to those found in Asia.

However, few fossils of animals from a eastern ‘lost continent’ of Appalachia have been found since these areas being densely vegetated, creation it formidable to learn and uproot fossils.

Dr Longrich, from a Milner Centre for Evolution formed in a Department of Biology Biochemistry, complicated one of these singular fossils, a bit of a jaw bone kept in a Peabody Museum during Yale University. It incited out to be a member of a horned dinosaurs – a Ceratopsia.

His study, published in a biography Cretaceous Research, highlights it as a initial hoary from a ceratopsian dinosaur identified from this duration of eastern North America.

The leptoceratopsids have a beak-shaped jaw suggesting they had a opposite diet to their western relatives.

The leptoceratopsids have a beak-shaped jaw suggesting they had a opposite diet to their western relatives.

Plant-eating horned dinosaur

Ceratopsia is a organisation of plant-eating horned dinosaurs that lived in a Cretaceous period. The hoary in doubt comes from a smaller cousin of a improved famous Triceratops, the leptoceratopsids. It was about a distance of a vast dog.

The citation complicated by Longrich was too deficient to brand a accurate class accurately, though showed a bizarre turn to a jaw, causing a teeth to bend downward and outwards in a bill shape.

The jaw was also some-more slim than that of Ceratopsia found in western North America, suggesting that these dinosaurs had a opposite diet to their western relatives, and had developed along a graphic evolutionary path.

Dr Nick Longrich explained: “Just as many animals and plants found in Australia currently are utterly opposite to those found in other tools of a world, it seems that animals in a eastern partial of North America in a Late Cretaceous duration developed in a totally opposite approach to those found in a western partial of what is now North America due to a prolonged duration of isolation.

“This adds to a speculation that these dual land masses were distant by a widen of water, interlude animals from relocating between them, causing a animals in Appalachia to develop in a totally opposite direction, ensuing in some flattering uncanny looking dinosaurs.

“Studying fossils from this period, when a sea levels were really high and a landmasses opposite a Earth were really fragmented, is like looking during several eccentric experiments in dinosaur evolution.

“At a time, many land masses – eastern North America, Europe, Africa, South America, India, and Australia – were removed by water.

“Each one of these island continents would have developed a possess singular dinosaurs – so there are substantially many some-more class out there to find.”

To entrance a paper, ‘A ceratopsian dinosaur from a Late Cretaceous of eastern North America, and implications for dinosaur biogeography’ published in Cretaceous Research see http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667115300471.

Source: University of Bath