Tag: dinosaur

New "Evil Spirit" Dino Bridges Evolutionary Gap

By Patrick Morgan | April 19, 2011 9:48 am

What’s the News: The oldest recovered dinosaurs, including two-legged predators like Herrerasaurus, tromped around Argentina and Brazil some 230 million years ago. But exactly what happened after those beasts is a mystery: paleontologists have puzzled over an evolutionary gap in the fossil record between these early creatures and the more complex theropods, a suborder of bipedal dinosaurs—including Tyrannosaurus rex—that eventually comprised all dino carnivores. In the rocks of New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch, paleontologists have discovered the skull and vertebrae of a new dinosaur species that may fill this evolutionary gap. Dubbed Daemonosaurus chauliodus, this up-to-five-feet long, 205-million-year old predator has characteristics of both the first dinosaurs and the more advanced predators. As Hans-Dieter Sues, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., told National Geographic, the skull is unusual because “it has a … short snout and these monstrous front teeth. That’s a kind of skull structure for a predatory dinosaur that’s really unexpected for this early point in time.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World
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