Feeds

New species of dinosaur discovered... in museum

Dusty fossil of horny Canadian beast

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.