Student discovers new dinosaur species
Mike Taylor, a university student, studying for his Ph.D. (advanced academic degree) in Paleontology ( the study of prehistoric life forms), discovered a brand new species of dinosaur, while conducting research at the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom.
The new species was identified as part of the Sauropod family of dinosaurs. The sauropods were four-legged, herbivorous (vegetarian) dinosaurs, with very long necks and tails, and relatively small skulls and brains. One of their most unusual features was their nostril, which was higher up in their head, almost near the eye sockets. The Sauropod bones have been found in every continent except Antarctica, and they are one of the longest living group of dinosaurs, spanning over a 100 million years.
This new species, slightly smaller than the other Sauropods, about 50 - 65ft long and weighing around 2.8 tonnes, lived about 140 million years ago.
Mike Taylor, who has spent five years studying Sauropod vertebrae, immediately knew that this was the dorsal vertebrae (backbone) of a Sauropod. However, he had never seen one like this before. Further research proved this was indeed a new kind of Sauropod. The bone, which had been discovered in the 1890's, over 100 years ago, had never been examined. The new species has been named Xenoposeidon Proneneukus, which means forward-sloping alien earthquake god - ever wonder who names these things?
Watch the video below for an artist's depiction of what this creature may have looked like.
Sources: The sun.co.uk, Dailymail.co.uk