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New Species of Dinosaur Bridges Gap in Dinosaur Family Tree

A team of scientists led by the Smithsonian Institution has discovered a fossilized dinosaur skull and neck vertebrae that not only reveal a new species, but also an evolutionary link between two groups of dinosaurs. The new species, Daemonosaurus chauliodus, was discovered at Ghost Ranch, N.M. The team's findings are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on April 13.

The oldest known dinosaurs walked or ran on their hind legs and included early predatory species such as Herrerasaurus. They existed in what are now Argentina and Brazil early in the Late Triassic Period, approximately 230 million years ago. The evolutionary position of these early predatory dinosaurs was contentious because there was a gap in the fossil record between them and later theropod dinosaurs. The team's discovery of Daemonosaurus chauliodus helps fill in this gap.
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TAGGED: EVOLUTION, PALEONTOLOGY


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