MileHighScience writes to mention that a new type of sauropod
has been discovered by scientists from Utah's Brigham Young University. Dubbed Abydosaurus mcintoshi
, the new addition to the long necked dinosaur family was discovered at Dinosaur National Monument. "The circumstances of its discovery were both unusual and dramatic. The researchers stumbled on four skulls in a quarry at the preserve. Two were still intact. Sauropod skulls are rarely found in the fossil record because the soft tissue from which they are constructed is unlikely to be preserved after death. 'Their heads are built lighter than mammal skulls because they sit way out at the end of very long necks,' Brooks Britt, a BYU paleontologist said in a news release. 'Instead of thick bones fused together, sauropod skulls are made of thin bones bound together by soft tissue.' Of more than 120 known species of sauropods, there have been only eight instances in which scientists have been able to recover intact skulls."