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back to article New species of dinosaur discovered... in museum

Bone-bothering boffins have discovered an entirely new species of horned dinosaur, despite having parts of its skull for the last hundred years. Artist's restoration of the head of Spinops sternbergorum Artist's restoration of the head of Spinops sternbergorum. Credit: Dmitry Bogdanov, courtesy of Raymond M. Alf Museum of …

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M7S
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Surely no article on the discovery of new dinosaurs in unexpected places is complete....

...without Doug McClure running around somewhere?

Or am I showing that I also belong to that era?

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Happy

yes, unfortunately

lolz

guess i'm there, too

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Anonymous Coward

Congratulations

Bone-bothering boffins

Superb! Well done

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Headmaster

Memo from the Department of Redundancy Department

"The dinosaur was a plant-eating smaller cousin of the Triceratops that weighed around two tons."

Triceratops was a plant eater, too (along with all the other ceratopsian dinosaurs).

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Boffin

New species?

"The prehistoric lizard had a single horn on its nose and a bony neck frill that had at least two long, backward-projecting spikes as well as two forward-curving hooks, which are the unique features that distinguish it from other horned dinosaurs."

So, with only a single fossil of the beast to work from, how can they be sure it isn't the dinosaur equivalent of a 6-toed cat?

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And how do they determine members of the Tyranosaur family as different species?

Which are baby Rex'es and which are other species... You expect a coherent answer in 400characters or less, or you're just trying to be clever?

General principles of taxonomy have to be described for starters, here highlighting differences in strongly conserved features (like the horn positions mentioned in the article) etc etc. It's not a discussion topic really.

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Boffin

Re: New Species

>>So, with only a single fossil of the beast to work from, how can they be sure it isn't the dinosaur equivalent of a 6-toed cat?

If you found two the same you could still level the same argument, you could either assume that they are a new species or that you recognise that it's "likely", having only one fossil is "less likely" but still likely - or put another way, fossils are spectacularly rare, to have a genetic mutant as well (one with significant differenceS, rather than a minor one such as polydactyly) is a factor again rarer, but not impossible, given the total number of fossils found worldwide, to date there's a good chance that we have a mutant or two in our museums, the rarity of which is unknown, but the logical course of action (to be right, probably all of the time) is to assume that all fossils are not mutants.

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Bob the Dinosaur from Dilbert

They should call this specimen "bob" : "Dinosaurs aren't extinct, they're just hiding behind the furniture."

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and giving people wedgies

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Am I the only one ...

... who expected something steamier based on 'horny beast' ? :)

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Coat

"The prehistoric lizard had a single horn on its nose"

According to my extensive research using the Wikipedia, "Although the word dinosaur means "terrible lizard," the name is somewhat misleading, as dinosaurs were not lizards. Rather, they were a separate group of reptiles with a distinct upright posture not found in lizards".

So there!

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Anonymous Coward

This thing stood upright?

Cool.

I always imagine triceretops on all fours... or isn't it actually a dinosaur?

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Boffin

It stands upright on four legs.

As opposed to the lizard, which does not stand upright; rather, a lizard's legs splay out from its body. One cannot be both upright and have splayed legs.

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Mascot?

Anyone's hockey team in need of a mascot?

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Isn't this just another juvenile triceratops?

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Anonymous Coward

FYI: Sternberg museum

If you are near Hays, KS:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=sternberg+museum

The Sternberg museum has several of his more interesting fossils on display, including the "fish within a fish" fossil.

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Thumb Up

Fun fact:

My grandfather and great grandfather actually helped in the discovery of that fish-within-a-fish, though neither are credited (or weren't, last I recall). Still, I should visit that museum again...

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Not surprising. At the turn of the 20th century, there were so many collecting trips with pressure to announce spectacular findings that most of the material has never been properly examined. A curator once told me that the best way to discover new dinosaur species is to simply take a close look at the Smithsonian's shelves.

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"This study highlights the importance of museum collections..."

Clearly. The fossils were handed in to the museum in 1916, whereupon they were put on a shelf and studiously ignored for 95 years.

No sense rushing into these things...

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Holmes

re :- whereupon they were put on a shelf and studiously ignored for 95 years.

But at least you now have a good idea of where to look for the Ark of the Covenant without the need to go tramping around foreign parts avoiding snakes, unpleasant Germans and the like.

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'100 year old fossil'?

Does that mean this thing was terrorising the British Empire?

No wonder we went into decline.

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