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2 New American Iguanodonts!

  • 09-09-2020 1:53am
    Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    Two new dinosaurs related to the famous Iguanodon have been unearthed in Utah.
    The larger of the two animals, Iguanacolossus, would have been about 30 feet long and is described as a “somewhat ponderous beast with robust limbs.” Hippodraco, at a comparatively paltry 15 feet, was a much smaller animal, and the remains described in the paper may have even belonged to a juvenile. Although both new dinosaurs are known from only partial skeletons, the bones are distinctive enough in anatomy and in their geologic context to justify placing them in new species. (Paleontologists also found the fragmentary remains of other dinosaurs at each of the two sites, but not enough was preserved to positively identify what genera or species they might belong to.)
    Determining the true diversity of these iguanodonts and their relationships to one another will require more time and additional fossils, but at present it appears that the Early Cretaceous iguanodonts in western North America were quite different from their cousins elsewhere. Compared with relatives that lived at the same time in other places, both Hippodraco and Iguanacolossus appear to be relatively archaic species, meaning that they were more similar to earlier varieties of iguanodonts than the more specialized species such as Iguanodon. Andrew McDonald has already begun sorting all of this out, but for now it is clear that the Early Cretaceous West was home to a unique and varied collection of iguanodonts which we are only just beginning to understand.

    Image by Lukas Panzarin

    Summary article here.
    Full paper here.
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