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 Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah

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PostSubject: Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah   Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:58 pm

(Sept. 22) -- Scientists say they've found two new dinosaur species in Utah that are among the most bizarre and blinged out ever discovered.

The Utah reptiles belong to the horned-dinosaur family, which is known for outlandish anatomy, and are wowing seasoned fossil hunters. Even the three-horned triceratops, the most familiar horned dinosaur, looks like the no-frills model compared with the newcomers.

The species named Kosmoceratops had 15 horns decorating its massive head, giving it the most elaborate dinosaur headdress known to science. At 15 feet long, it was larger than a Ford Fiesta. Its name means "ornate horned-face" in Latin.




The Utahceratops was adorned with unusual short horns that stuck out to the side like a bison's. It was roughly 20 feet long and weighed 3 to 4 tons, as much as a large pickup truck. Its name is Latin for "Utah horned-face."

The new species "would've both been quite spectacular," Michael Getty of the Utah Museum of Natural History, who spotted the first Utahceratops, told AOL News. And quite big: "The skulls alone can be in excess of 6 feet long, [among] the largest heads on any land animal that ever lived," he said.

The new discoveries are "first-class finds, no doubt about it," said the University of Pennsylvania's Peter Dodson, an authority on horned dinosaurs. Kosmoceratops in particular "is absurd, a really, really bizarre-looking animal. Kosmoceratops is an outlier even in its class," he said.



"The hooks at the back of the skull would've been relatively useless as weapons, but they're great for showing off," said study leader Scott Sampson of the Utah Museum of Natural History at a press conference today. "These are effectively the peacock feathers ... of the dinosaur world."

Both species were plant eaters, somehow swelling to a massive size on the vegetation that thrived in the warm, swampy landscape that Utah had during the Late Cretaceous period, more than 70 million years ago.

Today these horned dinosaurs would quickly starve in their once-lush homeland. The bone yards that yielded the fossils lie in what is now the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, an isolated, rocky desert granted strict federal protection in 1996.

Fossil hunting at Grand Staircase is an endurance sport. The researchers live in research camps that are among the most remote in the U.S., Getty says. The water source is a 90-minute drive from camp.

The scientists walk several miles from their camp to the dig site, sometimes carrying jackhammers and the heavy plaster needed to protect fossils. Getty was stung by a scorpion earlier this year, which at least was not as bad as being bitten by the local rattlesnakes.

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But Getty says the hardships are worth it. In addition to uncovering two eye-popping new species, the researchers helped solidify the theory that a no-go zone in northern Utah divided dinosaurs into northern and southern populations. Dinosaurs from Canada are completely different from those in Utah. Something, perhaps a change in climate, kept the two groups from mixing.

Getty vividly recalled uncovering the first Utahceratops.

"Finding such a significant animal ... [that] looked like a new species, different from anything else we'd seen -- it couldn't get much more exciting," he said.
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PostSubject: Re: Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah   Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:05 am

I've always found dinosaurs pretty fascinating. Ever since Mrs. Ludington made us read Jurassic Park, I've been pretty interested in dinosaurs. It's pretty cool that they've found a new type pretty close from here. The dinosaur eats veggies which is pretty cool, then I could probably pet him. sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah   Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:21 am

it almost looks like a deformed triceratops but with a interesting twist. I wonder if all dinosaurs lived around the same time or if like humans this is an evolution of evolving once again Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah   Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:11 pm

Yeah, I also wonder if dinosaurs evolved somehow too. I am so waiting for Jurassic Park 4 or 5 ...which one are we on? lol bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Bizarre new Dinosaur Species Found in Utah   Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:23 pm

not sure but you can bet lee is touching himself at the thought of a dinosaur anything lol Twisted Evil
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