Fossil skulls reveal how dinosaurs found their fancy headgear

An extraordinary well-preserved fossil skull found in New Mexico in 2017 – first found in 97 years – has revealed new details about its bizarre Elvis-style pompadour. Its analysis has allowed paleontologists to identify with certainty how such a structure grew on this dinosaur.

Terry Gates, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University, said, “Think of moving your nose about three feet behind your head, then turning around to attach it above your eyes. Parasirolephus put an eight-foot pipe of oxygen. Breathed out. ” Department of Biological Sciences, in a news statement.

The hollow tube at its head has an internal network of airways and acts like a trumpet.

“Over the past 100 years, ideas for the purpose of an exaggerated tube crest have ranged from snorkel to super sniffers,” said David Evans, Temati chair in vertebrate paleontology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

Originally exposed in areas of New Mexico as the new skull of Parasaurolophus.

“But after decades of study, we now think that these forests mainly used sound resonators and visual displays used to communicate within their own species.”

This animal must have been around 75 million years ago – a time when North America was divided by a shallow sea and many duck-billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and early persecutors who must have roasted the land.

“The preservation of this new skull is spectacular, eventually revealing in detail the bones that make up the crest of this amazing dinosaur known by almost every dinosaur-known child,” said Joe Sertich, of the dinosaur at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Curators and team leaders who discovered the sample.

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Certich and his team discovered Partial skull in 2017 exploring the islands of northwestern New Mexico. Only a small part of the skull was visible on a steep sandstone slope, and volunteers were surprised to see Shikha. Bone fragments found at the site indicated that the skeleton may have once been preserved on an ancient sand bar, but only a partial skull, part of the lower jaw, and a handful of ribs survived erosion.

The skull belonged to Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus, previously known from a specimen collected in 1923 by the famous fossil hunter Charles H. Sternberg in the same area of ​​New Mexico. This dinosaur has a smaller, more curved crest than other species – although it may be related to its age at death. There are three currently recognized species of Parasrolophus, including fossils found in New Mexico and Alberta, and were born 77 million to 73.5 million years ago.

A depiction of a group of Parasrolophus dinosaurs being encountered by a persecutor in the subtropical forests of New Mexico 75 million years ago.

“It has long answered questions about how the crest is produced and about the validity of this particular species. To me, this fossil is very exciting,” said Evans, who learned the secrets of this dinosaur Has worked on about two for. Decades.

The research was published on Monday in the journal Peeraj.


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