Scientists Uncover New Mongolian Dinosaur Species

Researchers in Mongolia and Canada reported that the new species sheds light on the evolution of hadrosaurs, dominant herbivores of the Late Cretaceous.

AsianScientist (Apr. 30, 2019) – Scientists in Mongolia and Canada have described a new species of dinosaur unearthed in Mongolia. They published their findings in PLOS ONE.

Dinosaurs of the family Hadrosauridae were widespread and ecologically important large herbivores during the Late Cretaceous Period, but little is known about their early evolution. In recent years, many new species closely related to Hadrosauridae have provided clues about the origins of these dinosaurs, but few complete remains are known from the early part of the Late Cretaceous.

In the present study, researchers led by Dr. Khishigjav Tsogtbataaar of the Mongolian Academy of Science, Mongolia, and Dr. David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, examined and characterized the complete skeletal remains of a new species of dinosaur which they called Gobihadros mongoliensis.

The new species of dinosaur was discovered in the Bayshin Tsav region of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia from rocks dating to the early part of the Late Cretaceous. Anatomical analysis revealed that this species does not quite fit into the family Hadrosauridae. Comparing Gobihadros to Asian species within Hadrosauridae, the researchers concluded that Gobihadros did not directly give rise to later Asian hadrosaurs.

They reported that Asian hadrosaurs appear to have migrated over from North America during the Late Cretaceous. However, Gobihadros and its close Asian relatives seem to disappear as these new hadrosaurs enter Asia, suggesting that the invaders might have ultimately outcompeted species like Gobihadros. The authors caution that more fossil data is still needed to properly resolve the ages and locations of these dinosaurs during this important transition period.

“The article describes, for the first time, extraordinary well-preserved fossil material of hadrosauroid dinosaur as a new genus and species from the early Late Cretaceous in Mongolia. We hope that it will be very useful material for further study of the evolution of hadrosauroids, iguanodintians and ornithopods as well,” said the authors.

The article can be found at: Tsogtbaatar et al. (2019) A New Hadrosauroid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) From the Late Cretaceous Baynshire Formation of the Gobi Desert (Mongolia).


Source: PLOS; Photo: Tsogtbaatar et al.
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