New dino species found from vaults after a century

New dino species found from vaults after a century

The remains of Spinops sternbergorum, which belongs to the same family as the Triceratops, were excavated from a quarry alongside a large group of fossils in a so-called “bone bed” in Alberta, Canada in 1916.

But the bones were described as “rubbish” by the Natural History Museum’s keeper of Geology at that time, and lay unnoticed for almost 100 years before experts realised they belonged to an undescribed species.

They were rediscovered by a current group of researchers who decided to take another look at the fossils and realised that they were unlike any others known to science.

Dr Andrew Farke, who led the research team, said: “I knew right away that these fossils were something unusual, and it was very exciting to learn about their convoluted history.

“Here we have not just one, but multiple individuals of the same species, so we’re confident that it’s not just an odd example of a previously known species,” Dr Farke was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

The find, means that paleontologists will have to redefine how the horned dinosaur group, plant-eating dinosaurs sporting large horns and bony frills on their necks, are classified.

Dr Paul Barrett, the Natural History Museum’s resident researcher, said: “This discovery is of particular importance as it has implications on the way we use the spines that extend from the bony neck frill, which may have been used for identification between individuals, in our classifications of these animals.

“These embellishments are central to determining relationships between the groups of horned dinosaurs and are a sign of evolutionary relatedness.”

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