dinosaur museum

September 2019 Newsletter

FROM THE EDUCATION DESK

Interesting Facts for September: September comes from the old Roman word “septem” meaning seven because in the Roman calendar it was the seventh month……the Romans believed that the month of September was looked after by the god of fire and forge…Vulcan. Some famous people born in Septmber include Agatha Christie, Confucius, Freddie Mercury and Truman Capote.

FYI:

This dinosaur, found in the 1980s, has been named for its eagle like nose and wide lower jaw, shaped like two trowels laid side by side. It is a new species of primitive hadrosaurid that lived 80 million years ago and was a herbivore from the Cretaceous period. This is the most complete skull of a duck-billed dinosaur from Big Bend National Park, Texas.

It was revealed in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology on July 12, 2019 that it is a new genus and species, Aquilarhinus

Image credit: karkemish00 on DeviantArt

palimentus. It is one of the more primitive hadrosaurids known and can therefore help us to understand how and why the ornamentation on their heads evolved, as well as where the group initially evolved and migrated from, says lead author Dr. Albert Prieto-Marquez from the Institut Catala de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, near Barcelona. Until the dicovery of the arched nasal crest in the 1990s there was no evidence of a different shape jaw or feeding style. The lower jaws of Aquilarhinus meet in a peculiar W-shape, creating a wide, flattened scoop. The jaw and other characteristics of the specimen show that it does not fit with the main group of duck-billed dinosaurs known as Saurolophidae. Most saurolophids had bony cranial crests of many different shapes and sizes. Aquilarhinus had a bony crest shaped like a humped nose which provided evidence that all such crests evolved from a common ancestor, a hadrosaurid with a simple humped nose.

The facial and cranial construction of the dinosaur suggests that it fed itself by sholveling loose, wet sediment to scoop up loosely-rooted aquatic plants from the tidal marshes of an ancient delta

which is now the Chihuahuan desert. It is not clear what the dinosaur’s prominent nasal crest was for. It may have been used as a display to help the dinosaurs recognize members of their own kind and compete for mates says Dr. Prieto-Marquez. The cranial crests on some hadrosaurids are thought to have served as resonating chambers, allowing them to make deep, loud sounds.

Its existence adds another piece of evidence to the growing hypothesis, still up in the air, that the group began in the southeastern area of the US.

Education Director
Geri LeBold

 

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