There were more small meat-eating dinosaurs than first thought
University of Alberta researchers used fossilized teeth to identify at least 23 species of small meat-eating dinosaurs that roamed western Canada and the United States, 85 to 65 million years ago. Until now, only seven species of small two-legged meat-eating dinosaurs from the North American west had been identified.
U of A palaeontologist Philip Currie and student Derek Larson examined a massive dataset of fossil teeth that included samples from members of the families to which Velociraptor and Troodon (possibly the brainiest dinosaur) belong.
"Small meat-eating dinosaur skeletons are exceedingly rare in many parts of the world and, if not for their teeth, would be almost completely unknown," said Larson.
The researchers say the huge increase in the number of small meat-eating species to 23, shows that instead of a few species existing for many millions of years, there were actually many small meat-eating species, each existing for shorter periods of time.
"We can identify what meat-eaters lived in what geographic area or geologic age," explained Currie. "And we can do this by identifying just their teeth, which are far more common than skeletons."
Source: University of Alberta
- North American Small Carnivorous Dinosaur Species Now Up To 23from Scientific BloggingThu, 24 Jan 2013, 16:01:18 EST
- More small meat-eating dinosaurs than thoughtfrom Science DailyWed, 23 Jan 2013, 23:00:26 EST
- Study: There were more small meat-eating dinosaurs than first thoughtfrom PhysorgWed, 23 Jan 2013, 17:31:08 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Warming climate has consequences for Michigan's forests
- Hepatitis C treatment cures over 90 percent of patients with cirrhosis
- Berkeley graduate student brings extinct plants to life
- Appearance of night-shining clouds has increased
- Greenland ice cores show industrial record of acid rain, success of US Clean Air Act
- Criticism of violent video games has decreased as technology has improved, gamers age
- Hummingbirds' 22-million-year-old history of remarkable change is far from complete
- Ancient 'spider' images reveal eye-opening secrets
- New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age
- Research clarifies health costs of air pollution from agriculture