[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
new troodontid from Mongolia
This is a story from www.abcnews.com. Comes with artist recreation +
picture of skull.
`The shapes of things are dumb.'
New Dino From Mongolia
Might Offer Clues on
Evolution of Birds
An artist?s conception
looked like. The
small dinosaur, which
lived in Mongolia,
may have shared a
with birds. (Sean
By Kenneth Chang
March 15 ? They were about 5-feet-long, agile
hunters with big eyes and big brains ? big for a
dinosaur, anyway. About 80 million years ago,
two were entombed in Mongolian sand dunes.
Scientists from the
American Museum of
Natural History in New
York City and George
in Washington, D.C. are
reporting that and more
about a new dinosaur in
the latest issue of the
Journal of Vertebrate
Paleontology. One of
the dino specimens was
found in 1993 at Ukhaa
Tolgod, a rich deposit
of fossils in southern
Mongolia. A second
was unearthed nearby
three years later.
?It?s a small animal, about the size of me,? says
Mark Norrell, curator and chair of division of
paleontology at the museum and lead author of the
?It was an extremely lightly built and agile animal.?
The new species, dubbed Byronosaurus jaffei,
belongs to a group of dinosaurs known as troodontids,
which are generally believed to be close relatives of
modern-day birds. How close ? and whether birds
descended from troodontids ? has been difficult to
determine, because paleontologists only know of eight
troodontids species, including B. jaffei. ?These are
exceptionally rare animals,? Norrell says.
The skull of Byronosaurus jaffei. (Mick Ellison/AMNH)
B. jaffei itself cannot be an ancestor of birds, which
evolved some 70 million years earlier, but could have
shared a common ancestor with them. ?We?ve known so
little about troodontids that it?s difficult to
Catherine Forster, a paleontologist at the State
of New York at Stony Brook.
Unlike other troodontids, the new dinosaur
two birdlike features: teeth that lack steak-knife-like
serrations and a chamber in the snout where air enters
from the nostrils before passing through to the mouth.
Among dinosaurs, troodontids also had large brains
relative to their size, approaching the brain-to-size
The newest fossil and the promise of finding more
troodontids in the sands of Mongolia ?is a very
factor in deciphering where birds come from,? Forster
SEARCH ABCNEWS.com FOR MORE ON ?
Fly in Fossil
W E B L I
Copyright ©2000 ABC News Internet Ventures. Click here
for Terms of