PaleoNews #14

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

NEW FINDINGS 

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. 

New vertebral centra reveal that giant Cretaceous sharks might have been more common then expected. Leptostyrax macrorhiza is the Cretaceous shark these remains are thought to represent, and if so, Leptostyrax might have attained a length of up to 20 feet. This finding 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. As always, animals like this new taxon show the ancient diversity of a now unspeciose 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 saurischians. The bird is as of 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 remains resulted in the identification of structures interpreted as preserved tissues.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY 

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 three very iconic tyrannosaurs, some of which are now hidden behind the Tyrannosaurus rex on display at the American Museum. The post can be viewed here.

Twilight Beasts discusses camels, camels, and more camels. You can go over here to read the post.

FEATURED ARTWORK/ PHOTOGRAPH 

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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