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2009-01-18 – Minotaurasaurus Ramachandrani: a new dinosaur from Gobi desert

New dinosaur species named after Indian-origin scientist

New Delhi (PTI): A previously unknown species of dinosaurs found in the Gobi desert has been named after an Indian-origin scientist who made available a virtually complete skull in his possession for scientific scrutiny.

American paleontologists Clifford Miles and Clark Miles, who studied the skull with a bull-like appearance with flared nostrils, described it as belonging to a new genus and species of ankylosaurid.

Ankylosaurids are armoured dinosaurs that evolved about 125 million years ago and were found in North America, East Asia and Europe.

Indian-origin scientist V.S. Ramachandran bought the skull from a Japanese fossil collector and displayed it at the Victor Valley Museum, California.

The U.S. scientists at the Western Paleontological Laboratories in Utah named the new species as Minotaurasaurus Ramachandrani, after Ramachandran made the skull available to them.

Miles reported their findings in the latest issue of Indian research journal Current Science.

The generic name ‘Minotaurasaurus’ means ‘man-bull reptile’ in Latin. The species has been named so because of the bull-like appearance of the skull which was found in the Gobi desert.

The paleontologists believe that the 30cm long skull represents a new dinosaur that grew to about 4.2m long from a family of extinct reptiles called ankylosaurid.

The ankylosaurids had thick armoured plating of fused bone often interspersed with a variety of spikes and lumps. Some species even had armoured eyelids.

The specimen studied by Miles has complete triangular skull and highly ornamented nasal which give the skull a bull-like appearance with flaring nostrils making it one of the most ornamental dinosaurs discovered yet.

Studies indicates that the animal was not fully grown and, therefore, it is likely that larger animals could be discovered soon.

The teeth of the dinosaur are leaf shaped with each one bearing vertical striations (series of ridges) dividing the crown surface into eight cusps.

If validated, then this distinct species might join a handful of other Indian name bearing dinosaurs species like Barapasaurus tagorie, Kotasaurus yamanapalliensis, found in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasaurus narmadensis in Gujarat.



gennaio 18, 2009 - Posted by | - R. Dinosauri, 1, 1 Cretaceo, An. Vertebrates, Asia, Mesozoic, P - Ritrovamenti fossili, Paleontology / Paleontologia | , , , , , , ,

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