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
- NASA explains why June 30 will get extra second
- Genetic discovery uncovers key tool for morphine production in poppies
- NASA's Hubble sees a 'behemoth' bleeding atmosphere around a warm exoplanet
- First species of yeti crab found in Antarctica named after British deep-sea biologist
- Corals are already adapting to global warming, scientists say
- Cooking up cognition
- American surgery patients -- more pain medication, yet more pain!
- New climate stress index model challenges doomsday forecasts for world's coral reefs
- Alice instrument's ultraviolet close-up provides a surprising discovery about comet's atmosphere
- Circular orbits identified for small exoplanets