New Dinosaur Species Museum – A new horned dinosaur species has been discovered almost a century later in the Natural History Museum.
The remains of the herbivores, from the same family as the Triceratops, were excavated from a quarry alongside a large group of fossils in a so-called “bone bed” in Alberta, Canada in 1916. The animal, named Spinops sternbergorum, lived approximately 76 million years ago in southern Alberta.
But the bones were described as “rubbish” by the Museum’s Keeper of Geology at the time, and lay unnoticed for almost 100 years before experts realised they belonged to an undescribed species.
They was rediscovered by a current group of researchers who decided to take another look at the fossils and realised that they were unlike any others known to science.
Dr Andrew Farke, who led the research team, said: “I knew right away that these fossils were something unusual, and it was very exciting to learn about their convoluted history.
“Here we have not just one, but multiple individuals of the same species, so we’re confident that it’s not just an odd example of a previously known species.”
Spinops was a plant-eater that weighed around two tons when alive, a smaller cousin of Triceratops. A single large horn projected from the top of the nose, and a bony neck frill sported at least two long, backward-projecting spikes as well as two forward-curving hooks. These unique structures distinguish Spinops from related horned dinosaurs.