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article image2 new species of horned dinosaurs discovered from museum fossils

By Marcus Hondro     Nov 26, 2014 in Science
Two new species of horned dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period have only now been discovered, though the fossils the discoveries are based upon were found over 75 years ago. They sat in a Canadian museum, mistakenly identified as other, known, species.
The discoveries were made by U.K. paleontologist Dr. Nick Longrich and published this week in the journal Cretaceous Research. Dr. Longrich, a senior lecturer at the University of Bath, examined the fossils of two creatures, each from the collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
New Species of Dinosaurs
The names of what the species were and what they have now been found to be by Dr. Longrich are long and hard to pronounce but here we go:
The fossil bones were believed to be from the Anchiceratops species and the Chasmosaurus species. Each of those dinosaur species are known the have lived in Canada. Dr. Longrich found they are instead entirely new species.
1) One is now called Pentaceratops aquilonius and it lived in the American south-west. It was small, about the size of a buffalo, and it ate plants.
2) The other species is the Kosmoceratops, also from the U.S. south-west.
The Cretaceous period came after the Jurassic period, and it ranges from about 145 million years ago to 66 million years ago. These newly discovered species are believed to have been on earth about 75 million years ago.
"We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left," Dr. Longrich said. "The total dinosaur diversity must have been extraordinarily high. We've really only just scratched the surface."
Royal Tyrell Museum makes find
In related news, the Royal Tyrell Museum in Alberta announced earlier this month that they may have found a new species of duck-billed dinosaur. Bones were found fossilized into a rock in a river in Northern Alberta and are about 80 million years old.
They are analyzing these bones to see if they are from an existing duck-billed dinosaur species, or if they have discovered a new species.
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