New Species Of Duck-billed Dinosaur Found In Texas

Fossil remains which uncovered almost four decades ago in the Big Bend National Park found in Texas have been deemed to be a new genus and species of duck-billed dinosaur.

A researcher from Texas Tech University unearthed the fossils. A series of test which took place in the 1990s revealed an unusual trait in the form of two arched nasal crests. At that point, the unique shape of the jaw was observed, but several decades passed before it was thought that the specimen might be older than it seems.

Known under the scientific name of hadrosaurids, duck-billed dinosaurs were some of the most common herbivorous dinosaur species encountered at the zenith of the Mesozoic era. The unusual shape of the skull infers that the creature consumed semiaquatic vegetation, which was shoveled and scooped with the help of the bill. The new species has been named Aquilarhinus palimentus.

New Species Of Duck-billed Dinosaur Found In Texas

DNA and genetic tests infer that it is a non-saurolophid hadrosaurid. It was also linked to similar species which was found in Mexico and also featured a generous nasal arch. The fascinating fossil was recovered from the Aguja Formation, which is located in western Texas.

The Aguja Formation has been one of the prime research areas for a long while since it preserves generous part of the southern Campian terrestrial faunas which can be found in North America. The most significant part of the known fauna comes from the upper shale member as the lower part, or lower shale member has remained enigmatic for a long while.

At first, the new species was classified as a part of the Kritosaurus family, but subsequent tests showed that there were enough individual traits to justify the naming of a new species. By analyzing the geologic characteristics of the zone where the fossil was found, the researchers believe that it lived in the equivalent of a coastal marsh or swamp. A study which details the discovery of the new species of duck-billed dinosaur rolled out in a scientific journal.

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Stephen D. James

About the Author: Stephen D. James

Stephen D. James is a Senior Politics Reporter at Debate Report covering provincial and national politics, . Before joining  Debate Report, Jeff worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Stephen has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.

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