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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Big-Nose Dinosaurs Found

Latirhinus uitstlani. (Picture
 from: http://www.livescience.com/)
Duck-billed dinosaur fossils found in northern Mexico. The dinosaur has a characteristic form of a big nose so named Latirhinus Uitstlani, from the Latin word "Lati" which means width and "rhinus" meaning nose.

Animals that lived during the Late Cretaceous, about 73 million years ago. The fossils were found in the State of Coahuila was described in Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology.

Wide nostrils provide dinosaur remarkable odor detection capabilities. "These characteristics are also possible support and provide more space for soft tissue structures, such that can inflate the bladder, to attract attention, identification, and communication," says Albert Prieto-Marquez, lead researcher of the study, told Discovery News, yesterday (December 11,2012).

Prieto-Marquez, researchers at the Bayerische Staatssammlung Palaontologie fur und Geologie in Munich, and colleagues analyzed the fossil, Claudia Ines Serrano Brafias. In addition to big-nosed, they also found that dinosaurs had sturdy hind legs with digits three. Unlike the hind legs, front legs dinosaur was relatively small and skinny and four fingers. This suggests that the animals did not have a thumb.

"When walking and eating, Latirhinus running normally on four legs. Yet, when it comes to increasing the speed and running, the animal can stand with his hind legs," said Prieto-Marquez. "Long tail extended to the rear to compensate for the front of the body."

This dinosaur is thought herbivorous animals. "They have thousands of teeth that grow tightly to form a surface grinder to chew on plants they eat," he said.

Terry Gates, a research fellow at Ohio University, told Discovery News, "We have known for years that several kinds of duck-billed dinosaurs lived in Mexico during the Late Cretaceous, but diagnostic specimens have been hard to come by. Dr. Prieto-Márquez is one of the leaders in the field of duck-billed dinosaurs and has a keen eye for detecting differences among species."

Gates hopes that more information will become available about the dinosaur, such as its size and weight. Duck-billed dinosaurs, in general, tended to be large, with some growing to about 30 feet in length and weighing in excess of 6,000 pounds.

Prieto-Marquez said the discovery of a new dinosaur has four important values. In addition to expanding the knowledge of diversity hadrosaurids (duck-billed dinosaurs), these findings fill a gap in the southern region fossil record of North America. "This dinosaur has been a link between the dinosaurs of North America and South America," he said. "As well as supporting the speculation that dinosaurs dominated the region in the past." *** [LIVESCIENCE | DISCOCERY NEWS | TJANDRA | KORAN TEMPO 4082]
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