New SA dinosaur species unveiled

2012-10-04 11:30

New York - A new dinosaur the size of a house cat and described as a cross between "a bird, a vampire and a porcupine" has been identified in a piece of rock from SA.

University of Chicago palaeontologist Paul Sereno, who published the findings on Wednesday in the online scientific journal ZooKeys, said in an interview he actually made the discovery of the small-bodied herbivore in 1983.

Sereno, whose research involves mapping the dinosaur family tree, said he came upon the specimen as a graduate student while doing research in a Harvard University laboratory and intended to write about it immediately.

"I said, 'Whoa!' I realised it was a new species from the moment I set eyes on it," Sereno said. But he says he grew distracted by other things, and had in mind a more ambitious research project.

"There was always a danger that someone would discover it and write about it, and I would read about it," he said, but added it was all for the best: "Hey, I'm smarter than I was then."

The strange-looking species, which Sereno has named Pegomastax africanus, or "thick jaw from Africa", lived between 100 million and 200 million years ago.

"I describe it as a bird, a vampire and a porcupine," Sereno said. It had the weight of a small house cat and stood less than a foot (30cm) off of the ground.

It had a thick jaw and a blunt beak with a "heightened tooth that sticks down, dagger-like," Sereno said. He said it would have been part of one of three groups that form the base of the dinosaur tree.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 11:47

    Was it in the Ark? Why not? How did it get from the Ark to down here in the southern part of Africa after the flood? No, until the learned palaeontologist can answer the above questions it must be accepted that the fossil and its enclosing rock are no older than say 3,500 years. Once again we see the biblical truth being confirmed. The day will come that the palaeontologist will have to answer for his lies. Please refer to Gen 2: 18-24 for some REAL science.

      clivecorbz - 2012-10-04 11:49

      If you believe the world is 6000 years old, science is against you, and it is your job to explain why the Japanese were making pottery 4000 years before the "earth was created".

      angela.michaels.73 - 2012-10-04 11:52

      I really,really hope you're being sarcastic.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 11:54

      @ angela Of course but don't tell anybody else.

      tom.poe.12 - 2012-10-04 11:56

      This animal must have lived prior to the great flood. Read the Book, ''The Bible, The Qur'an and Science'' by Maurice Bucaille.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 11:58

      Actually, I've just had a vision. The specimen was actually in the Ark. But it somehow managed to escape as the Ark floated overhead that very same rock seen in the picture above. See, biblical science once again safe for now (and forever!) See, once

      charles.evendumber - 2012-10-04 12:15

      Nice one, Crracker. You got them there.

      Diran - 2012-10-04 12:38

      sarcasm I hope.. LOL

      adele.kendall.16 - 2012-10-04 13:08

      Lol Crracker

  • kosmonooit - 2012-10-04 11:50

    Where in SA?

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-04 11:58


      dirk.brink88 - 2012-10-04 12:36

      Parliament because they are vampires to the countries life blood ?

      andynct - 2012-10-04 13:56

      The dinosaur was originally chipped out of red rock near the border of Lesotho and South Africa by Harvard researchers in the 1960s.

  • jan.plank.35 - 2012-10-04 11:51

    Eish This is one old toppie.

  • nigel.lotter - 2012-10-04 11:57

    Distant relative of Riaan Craywagen

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 12:19

      ...and more useful.

      merven.halo - 2012-10-04 13:13

      Maybe Crracker, but did this fossil looked the same age for 100 years?

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-10-04 11:58

    "a cross between "a bird, a vampire and a porcupine" has been identified in a piece of rock from SA....... he actually made the discovery of the small-bodied herbivore in 1983.... " Makes me wonder, discovered it 30yrs ago and only publishing his findings now? Show me a paleontologist who makes a new discovery and sits on it for so long. Won't be the first hoax.

      mbossenger - 2012-10-04 12:18

      Perhaps you can point us to the other hoaxes?

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 12:33

      Sometimes it takes a bit long to think out the lies. Then suddenly one day...voila! And so you write your article and hope all the other learned professors will need just about the same amount of time to figure out how you lied. Science is for the birds.

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-04 12:54

      Piltdown Man

      mbossenger - 2012-10-04 13:20

      And how was the piltdown hoax exposed? Through scientific analysis - in fact, had correct procedures been followed, it would have been exposed almost immediately.

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-04 13:28

      Remains a hoax.

      mbossenger - 2012-10-04 13:57

      Perpetrated by who, Tommy? If it had been shown without the shadow of a doubt that it was done by a scientist to try gain fame and fortune, I would go along with you; however, this has never been shown to be the case, and the actual perpetrator was never identified.

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-04 14:07

      I agree, mbossenger, don't know why you feel so strongly about it. Remains a hoax.

      mbossenger - 2012-10-04 14:18

      Tommy - the impliction seems to be the hoax is perpetrated by scientists, and john's post seemed to imply the field was discredited because of that. If I read too much into the post, I apologise; but john's post to me seems to be that of a conspiracy theorist attempting to discredit a field of scientific research.

  • Mewik - 2012-10-04 12:03

    what exactly does a vampire look like? Last time I checked they didn't exist. A bat perhaps, but a vampire? Really?

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-04 12:10

      Vampiers suck the life blood out of their victims. They are here in SA. Some even have a number of wives and some drink a very expensive whiskey. You must've noticed?

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-10-04 12:14

      Great science!

      Mewik - 2012-10-04 12:27

      Wait I thought those were lizard people? Damn, first lizards and now vampires, at one point I cant beleef!

      Madoqua - 2012-10-04 12:33

      He is using layman's terms to relate to us as layman; a bird - it was winged a porcupine - it had spines a vampire - it had large protruding canines *sigh. It is really painful having to explain the obvious.

      Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-10-04 13:06

      He is probably refering to the Vampire bats.

      Mewik - 2012-10-04 13:10

      K now tell me how do you use a creature that never existed as a reference? That's just stupid. Please enlighten me and explain a vampires attributes to me? Avoids sunlight, hates garlic, no reflection, sleeps in coffin or hangs upside down? Can I assume then that at times it appears in a human form and at other times it appears as a bat? Please enlighten me some more.

  • ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 12:07

    After the dinosaurs had eaten everything on Earth, they dug deep into the ground in search of food. Sadly, they became trapped in holes, which is why their skeletons are found underground today.

      zaatheist - 2012-10-04 12:16

      I can just imagine a brontosaurus trying to dig a hole big enough to bury itself. The mind boggles.

      ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 12:27

      Can you imagine T-Rex trying to dig holes with his dinky little arms?

      mark.higgens.9 - 2012-10-04 12:29

      ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 12:36

      ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 13:47

      @Madoqua, it's not my site. If you can't view the whole site then it must be your computer. I would never deny science. I am a scientist. So you can have your bucket back.

      ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 15:42

      @Madoqua, it's called a sense of humour. You should try it sometime.

      ricki.sorrell - 2012-10-04 15:43

      And not once, anywhere, did I say it was fact. You should probably dig yourself into a hole in the ground.

  • haha.hehe.7564129 - 2012-10-04 12:13

    Is there any better photo's? I see a flippen rock with nothing resembling a bird, a vampire or a porcupine!!..and a vampire??.seriously? I think someone is smoking some bad sh@t again.

      Mewik - 2012-10-04 12:28

      looks like someone flung poo on a rock and took a pic

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-04 13:31

      It's also called Velocichicken Punkus ;-) Great article and pic here:

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-04 15:11

      DelusionBuster, please give us the benefit of your empirical, peer reviewed opinion about the picture supplied with the article. Do you see anything but a flippen rock with nothing resembling a bird, a vampire or a porcupine? And if so, why? (Answer not allowed to exceed 200 words).

      ennui.vp - 2012-10-04 15:38

      Why don't you just go and look at the peer reviewed paper itself? I've posted a link in another comment. Or is that too much trouble?

  • renay.sewpersad - 2012-10-04 13:15

    you are all retarded

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-04 13:29

    hey look they found the tokoloshie !!

  • ronald.vanhoven - 2012-10-04 13:38

    Very believable; you make the biggest discovery of your life and let it lay in your drawer for 29 years. Yeah right, sounds a bit like a cross between fishy and vampire to me.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-04 15:15

      MemeMan and Crrracker also has weird fossils lying idle in their drawers for more than 29 years. When they realize what it's for, it will be the biggest discovery of their lives.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-04 17:10

      MemeMan, you misunderstood - there is a pun on "drawers" ;-)

  • ennui.vp - 2012-10-04 13:56

    In case anyone is interested there is a better article here:

      Madoqua - 2012-10-04 14:20

      Your quite right. The link you posted gives a much better idea about what Paul Sereno really meant by his comments and gives you all the background. The news 24 extract just does not cut the mustard.

      ennui.vp - 2012-10-04 14:32

      Unfortunately it's fairly typical of general news sites. The actual paper can be found here:

  • reine.marais - 2012-10-04 14:43

    Sweet little mole. Shame, poor little thing. Just like humans it was once a herbivore. Now they eat meat, just like we do.

  • johan.fou - 2012-10-04 16:43

    @ennui: Leave frik alone. He just watched a Kent Hovind dvd, and feels enlightened. The euphoria will wear off in time, and he might then start seeing the truth.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2012-10-05 09:59

      Do you think it is the old cr..p, or the new "Tax-evasion for dummies" series? :-P.

      frik.mcdonald.9 - 2012-10-07 22:19

      Tactic #1: Insulting the intelligence of others. Tactic #2: Citing some “higher authority” on the issue and restricting further discussion or evidence. Tactic #3: Attacking strawmen or going off-topic (includes attacking people as evidence against the faith). Tactic #4: Using exaggerated and ridiculous comparisons to mock the other side’s beliefs. Tactic #5: Stating things as fact or “just because” with nothing to back it up, even inaccurate claims based on memory or assumption. Tactic #6: Ignoring their own holes and shifting the burden of proving an endless supply of further challenges to you. Tactic #7: Requiring an overly high standard of proof, while calling all Christian sources “biased.” Let’s take a closer look at each one and some examples, including real quotes I’ve seen. Look Familiar atheists??

  • josie.russell.10 - 2012-10-04 20:59

    A vampire? Okay then

  • RoyNexusSix - 2012-10-06 09:03

    Wonderful find. Places the fossil in the Jurassic or Cretaceous Era in the Mesozoic Epoch. Long before the notion of 'human' can even be considered.

  • earl.jefferys - 2013-02-08 13:45

    exactly like a dodo, dead and gone.

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