New dinosaur species found in museum collection

2014-12-01 14:19

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A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago.

It's the latest member of the dinosaur family to be discovered. Remains of Pentaceratops aquilonius have actually been in Ottawa's Canadian Museum of Nature for three quarters of a century.

But they've only now been properly classified, thanks to University of Bath palaeontologist Dr Nick Longrich.

While examining the fossils he noticed some unique characteristics which resembled other Pentaceratops species from the American Southwest.

Longrich expects his findings to be the tip of the paleontological iceberg.

"In recent years the pace of dinosaur discoveries has actually increased and the implication there is that we're not even close to the total number of dinosaur species that we could potentially discover, and so my guess is that as we go back into the museum collection and revise things and go out into the field we're going to find hundreds of new dinosaur species in coming years and ultimately there could be thousands out there," said Longrich.

 Related to the legendary Triceratops, Pentaceratops aquilonius was around the size of a buffalo and existed on a diet of plants. It lived 75 million years ago close to an area now known as the Canadian province of Alberta.

Read more on:    canada  |  palaeontology  |  dinosaurs

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