PaleoNews #14

Hello everyone! This is PaleoNews, where I showcase the latest in paleontological discoveries! 


A new horned dinosaur showing signs of convergent evolution has been described! Regaliceratops was a large ceratopsian, up to 6 meters long, which was closely related to Triceratops, and shows features found in chasmosaurines as well as centrosaurines. This is strikingly odd, as the animal itself was a chasmosaurine. The centrosaurine features found present in Regaliceratops might be convergent evolution among the ornaments of horned dinosaurs. Regaliceratops itself is known from a mostly complete skull, which bears an impressive nose horn, two minuscule orbital horns, and large, stegosaur-plate-shaped epoccipitals. The genus name Regaliceratops pays homage to these large epoccipitals, translating to “Royal horned face”. The animal was excavated from the St. Mary River Formation, a Maastrichtian deposit. Other ceratopsids also are found in this formation, as well as the large tyrannosaurid Albertosaurus. 

Regaliceratops by the author. Pencils on paper, 2015.

Regaliceratops by the author. Pencils on paper, 2015.

New vertabral centra reveal that giant Cretaceous sharks might have been more common then expected.Leptostyrax macrorhiza is the Cretaceous shark these remains have been thought to be, and if so, Leptostyrax might have attained a length of up to 20 feet in length. This is important as it adds to our understanding of Early Cretaceous marine environments.

A new species of reptile has been described. Clevosaurus sectumsemper is an extinct sphenodont from the Triassic period, and it is named after a spell in that popular book series which I am sick of hearing about (it’s my unpopular opinion). As always, animals like this new taxa show the ancient diversity of a now dwindling group of animals.

A new enantiornithine bird from Gondwana has been discovered. This small avian dinosaur lived around 115 million years ago and is a rare discovery in a land filled with the bones of giant saurischian dinosaurs. The bird is as yet not described, but, as always, I’d rather the authors do a good job with the description then put out a rushed paper.

Soft tissue from dinosaur bones has been discovered. An examination of fragmentary dinosaur bone remains seems to have found preserved tissues and structures. This, if true, would be a landmark find in paleontology and help us understand the paleobiology of dinosaurs much better. I can only imagine what we could find out from looking at the cells of dinosaurs.


On his blog, Mark Witton discusses Dimorphodon’s awesomeness. It’s quite an interesting post, which you can view here.

At SV-POW!, Mike discusses the reasons we might never find the largest dinosaurs. He brings up some very good points, and I definitely recommend you check it out here. Also check out this great post on Haestasaurus. 

At Extinct Monsters, Ben discusses the history of 3 very iconic tyrannosaurs, some of which are now hidden behind the presently mounted AMNH Tyrannosaurus rex. The post can be viewed here, and it’s quite an interesting read.

Twilight Beasts discusses camels, camels, and more camels. Camel over here to read the post.


This week we have my photo of the famous AMNH Deinocheirus arms:

Photo by the author, 2015.

Photo by the author, 2015.

I hope you enjoyed PaleoNews #14. Thanks as always for reading!

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