Feeds

New species of dinosaur discovered... in museum

Dusty fossil of horny Canadian beast

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Bone-bothering boffins have discovered an entirely new species of horned dinosaur, despite having parts of its skull for the last hundred years.

Artist's restoration of the head of Spinops sternbergorum

Artist's restoration of the head of Spinops sternbergorum.
Credit: Dmitry Bogdanov, courtesy of Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

The fossilised remains of parts of the skull of the Spinops sternbergorum were discovered in 1916 by father-and-son fossil-collectors Charles and Levi Sternberg. They thought they had found a new species and sent the fossils to the Natural History Museum in London.

But the museum decided that the fossils were too small to be exhibited, so they were filed away for decades.

"This study highlights the importance of museum collections for understanding the history of our planet," Andrew Farke, lead author on the study that named the Spinops, said in a statement.

"My colleagues and I were pleasantly surprised to find these fossils on the museum shelf, and even more astonished when we determined that they were a previously unknown species of dinosaur."

The Spinops lived around 76 million years ago in Canada. The dinosaur was a plant-eating smaller cousin of the Triceratops that weighed around two tons.

The prehistoric lizard had a single horn on its nose and a bony neck frill that had at least two long, backward-projecting spikes as well as two forward-curving hooks, which are the unique features that distinguish it from other horned dinosaurs.

Although Spinops' face looks very similar to that of its close relatives Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus, the bony neck frill gives boffins a better understanding of how this structure evolved.

"In particular, the fossils of Spinops clarify the identification of the long frill spikes common in some horned dinosaurs," the statement said.

"Previously, scientists had inferred that these spikes evolved only once in the group. Careful study of Spinops, however, suggests that its spikes are located in a different position from that seen in most other horned dinosaurs, implying that the structures evolved independently."

The name Spinops sternbergorum (pronounced "SPIN-ops stern-berg-OR-uhm") means ‘Sternbergs' spine face’, referring to the headgear of the animal and honouring the original discoverers of the fossil. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.