Dinosaur bones in Missouri unearthed, new species of duckbill discovered
Scientists have not only identified the bones of a new dinosaur species in southern Missouri, but may have found a dinosaur bed.
The newly identified platypus, named Parrosaurus missouriensis, was about 35 feet long as an adult. Various dinosaur skeletons have been found at the excavation site over the past eight decades, but enough has now been collected to be certain that a new genus and species has been discovered.
Just over a month ago, researchers removed the dinosaur’s carcass. Guy Darrough, curator of Sainte Genevieve Museum Knowledge Center in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
Darrough, who first started working at the site four decades ago, said the find was like “hitting the tomb of King Tut”. “I can’t think of another discovery that could be bigger than dinosaurs in Missouri.”
The discovery also adds to scientists’ knowledge of the ecology of the Western Interior Seaway, a body of water that split North America more than 70 million years ago. While the majority of dinosaur finds are in the western states, this site in southern Missouri – which should have been on the east coast – has yielded finds for decades.
New COVID Variant:Dubbed ‘omicron’ by WHO, classified as ‘worrying variant’
Water problems:The Montana Compact Forest Rivers Conserve the Tests: Growth, Climate
About 80 years ago at this site, scientists found the first dinosaur skeletons there; Darrough said they are suspected to be the remains of a large sauropod, a plant-eating dinosaur. Charles Gilmore, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, examined the bones and, along with Dan Stewart of the Missouri Geological Survey, wrote a paper about the dinosaur, called the dinosaur. Parrorsaurus missouriensis, theo Bollinger County Museum of Natural History (Mo.).
Another skeletal memory – a skeleton they learned was a juvenile dinosaur and a toothed dinosaur jaw – was found in the 1980s, after geologist Bruce Stinchcomb purchased the property. Those bones suggest that the dinosaur was not a sauropod but was actually a duck-billed dinosaur aka a duck-billed dinosaur.
Hadrosaurs have long been considered herbivores, but some findings in recent years suggest that they may have eaten crustaceans, by chance or by chance.
Scientists thought the dinosaur looked like the one used in the Sinclair Oil ad, “but it turned out to be a completely different type of dinosaur,” Darrough said.
A fossil collector, Darrough asked if he could set up a greenhouse to dig there at the site and successfully find some dinosaur bones. Also found: tooth of a dinosaur related to Tyrannosaurus rex.
Darrough contacted Peter Makovicky, a paleontologist who was then a dinosaur curator at the Field Museum in Chicago. He went to Missouri in 2016 and quickly had a team of diggers dispatched to the site.
“Most people think we’re finding mastodons and mammoths,” said Darrough. “Those big animals were like, you know, 10,000 years old. But dinosaurs were like 70 million (year o’s). I knew they were dinosaur bones, but I just kept quiet.”
Darrough is “a very serious fossil collector and really knows his stuff,” Makovicky said, but admits to being “protected, but very curious” about the find before arriving.
Makovicky said the site is “at the bottom of a ravine in the Ozarks” and looks “like a frog pond”. “This doesn’t look like a dinosaur site. There are no exposed foundations.”
But they began to find bones including the tail, arms and skull of a dinosaur about 35 feet long, Darrough said. And more than a month ago, they dumped that dinosaur carcass. “It’s huge, almost the size of a Volkswagen,” he said.
“It weighs more than 2,000 pounds,” said Makovicky, now a professor of earth and environmental science at the University of Minnesota.
As for the point of view, Tyrannosaurus rex is said to be about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall, while Supersaurus Dinosaur, revealed earlier this month, is believed to be the longest of the dinosaurs, measuring between 128 and 137 feet.
Based on the findings of the skull, arms, and tail, Makovicky concluded the bones were from a platypus and, since the dinosaur name was originally applied to the site, was named Parrorsaurus missouriensis. The dinosaur has been named the state dinosaur of Missouri, based on previous findings.
There, the area will likely yield the remains of at least four different species of Parrosaurus missouriensis, Makovicky said.
“There could be a lot of other things here,” he said. “We’re really looking at something that could be a mass fish death, like a whole school of fish that died and drifted into this hole or lagoon.”
Speaking of deaths at the dig site, continued research led to the discovery of “a skeleton armor from a giant crocodile,” said Darrough, who Lost World Studios created. life size dinosaur model for museums and botanical gardens.
“These are up to 50 feet long and they’re big enough to take down a dinosaur. So when the Parrosaurus swarms came down to drink, these guys could grab them by the neck and drag them into the water and drown. When you get a crocodile big enough to take down a dinosaur is a big crocodile.”
Regardless of what else is found, the Missouri excavation is an excellent example of scientific collaboration between paleontologists and “dedicated and generous local volunteers who were basically I started this project more than 30 years ago,” Makovicky said.
And it helped expand knowledge of the dinosaurs of the eastern United States of the Western Inland Sea, at one point reaching the Appalachian Mountains.
“Most of the dinosaurs that every six-year-old is familiar with, tyrannosaurs, horned and duck-billed dinosaurs, etc., lived west of the Seaway,” says Makovicky. “From the eastern seas and the states of the Midwest, we have a lot less knowledge of dinosaurs. So when you actually find a location where you not only have the puzzle piece, you also have a piece of the puzzle. lots of skeletons put together, it’s a real breeze.”
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.