Is This Dinosaur "Missing Link" In Prehistoric Evolution?
No replies to this topic
Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:01 PM
With its large eyes and slanted teeth, Daemonosaurus chauliodus may look like any other of its prehistoric contemporaries. But this new species of dinosaur - described as having large eyes, buck teeth and being the same size as a large dog - has caused quite a stir in archaeological circles.
The fossil remains of the Daemonosaurus were discovered in New Mexico at a renowned dinosaur site - and it is thought the find could fill in the gaps of an incomplete period of prehistoric evolution. Daemonosaurus, which ate meat, walked on two legs and has unusually large eyes, dates back to a time early in the dinosaurs' reign during the Triassic Period around 205million years ago.
Fossils of the creature's 5.5in skull and neck were unearthed at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, a well-known dinosaur site. From these finds, scientists estimated its probable size. Daemonosaurus is derived from the Greek word 'daemon' meaning 'supernatural being' - because of Ghost Ranch - and 'sauros' meaning 'lizard'. The species name 'chauliodus' is derived from the Greek word for 'buck toothed' and refers to the animal's large slanted front teeth.
A description of Daemonosaurus appears today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Scientists believe Daemonosaurus may have been a 'missing link' between early predatory dinosaurs from what is now Argentina and Brazil, and later 'theropod' species such as Tyrannosaurus rex. Dr Hans Sues, from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, who led the US team, said: 'Various features of the skull and neck in Daemonosaurus indicate that it was intermediate between the earliest known predatory dinosaurs from South America and more advanced theropod dinosaurs. 'One such feature is the presence of cavities on some of the neck vertebrae related to the structure of the respiratory system.'
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users