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Earth Science

Unusual New Species of Dinosaur Identified 49

Posted by timothy
from the all-dinosaurs-are-currently-unusual dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "A new species of heterodontosaur, called Pegomastax, has been identified. Paul Sereno, a University of Chicago paleontologist, published a description of this species in a recent issue of ZooKeys. Although this diminutive (60 cm or less) species was herbivorous, it also possessed a set of sharp, stabbing canines in its parrot-shaped beak. Dr. Sereno holds that these canines where likely 'for nipping and defending themselves, not for eating meat.' Perhaps the most imaginatively intriguing aspect of all, the body of the Pegomastix might have been covered in porcupine-like quills, making for perhaps the least attractive dinosaur of all time. You can almost hear Dieter Stark screaming 'Helvetes jävlar!'"
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Unusual New Species of Dinosaur Identified

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  • by fnj (64210)

    Wow, a new dinosaur. I thought they had been gone for many million years. Goes to show.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yet more evidence to prove the existence of God. Wait, hang on...

    • by Z34107 (925136)

      Surely if you can troll, an omnipotent, omniscient deity could troll as well. See also: the platypus, the kangaroo, and this dinosaur.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You forgot Rosy O'Donnel dude. Just making sure you covered everything.

        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          You forgot Rosy O'Donnel dude. Just making sure you covered everything.

          Jurassic Pork.

    • There were no homodontosaur's!

  • Didn't remember Dieter's scream for help when he was attacked by a flock of small dinosaurs. Now I do. Thanks.

    Still, by that time he was already the most hated guy in the movie anyway.

    • by G3ckoG33k (647276)

      http://sv.bab.la/lexikon/svensk-engelsk/det-var-som [sv.bab.la]

      Det var som fan.
      I'll be damn.

      Det var som fan!
      Son of a bitch.

      Det var som tusan.
      I'll be dogged.

      Det var som det var.
      It was like that.

      Det var som i en mardröm.
      It was like a bad dream.

      Det var som manna från himlen.
      It was like manna from heaven.

      Det var som att tiden stod still.
      It was as though time had stopped.

      Det var som ett riktigt äventyr.
      It was like a real, live adventure.

      Du kan sätta ner det var som helst.
      You can set that down anywhere.

      De

  • FTFS: "A new species of heterodontosaur, called Pegomastax, has been identified. (...) Pegomastix might have been covered in porcupine-like quills, making for perhaps the least attractive dinosaur of all time."

    Being hetero is not an effective species survival strategy if you're not attractive!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The "hetero" and "dont" in the name refers to the characteristic thing about this group: the fact they have two very different types of teeth, one kind that is an array of chisel-shaped teeth used for grinding up plants, and a set of bizarre tusk-like teeth in the front that have always been a bit of a puzzle for a plant eater. If you read the paper, it reviews the whole group of them. A pretty strange bunch, not only Pegomastix.

      • Don't wild boars also have tusk-like and grinding teeth? They could be used for digging, or cutting away bark or husks, or perhaps these critters also had a taste for blood as well as sap. They could have been omnivorous.
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      A homodontosaur might not be any more attractive, but at least he'd be more stylish.

  • "stabbing canines in its parrot-shaped beak"

    Now that's got to be really unusual: a beak shaped like a parrot...
    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      "stabbing canines in its parrot-shaped beak"

      Now that's got to be really unusual: a beak shaped like a parrot...

      Can he talk?

  • by djl4570 (801529) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @05:25AM (#41566845) Journal
    Every time I read about a new species of dinosaur I keep this documentary in mind: A Third of Dinosaur Species Never Existed? [nationalgeographic.com]

    Many dinosaurs may be facing a new kind of extinction—a controversial theory suggests as many as a third of all known dinosaur species never existed in the first place.
    That's because young dinosaurs didn't look like Mini-Me versions of their parents, according to new analyses by paleontologists Mark Goodwin, University of California, Berkeley, and Jack Horner, of Montana State University.

    The documentary makes a compelling case that juvenile examples of various species have been misidentified as a separate species of dinosaur.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      This seems commonsensical not just for paleontology but anthropology as well.

      IANAA (I am not an anthropologist) but I've never understood how someone finds a chunk of bone that's 1/8 of a intact jawbone, and from that intuits that this is an entirely new species of hominid? The breathtaking breadth of natural human variation is apparent to anyone in a large crowd; how is some minute morphological difference of a FRACTION of a piece of bone suggestive enough that it reaches beyond that variation into indica

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There's two aspects to this:
        1) if you've got morphological/statistical variation well outside of the norm on the part that you do have, then, yes, it may be justification for proposing a new species. Teeth, in particular, are highly diagnostic fossils, and whole new species are routinely described on that basis. You wouldn't do the same on the basis of, say, a single bit of finger bone;
        2) every species proposed is a hypothesis about differences from other species. If you find more of the creature (more o

        • The idea that a third of all described dinosaur species may be unrecognized juveniles is a bit ridiculous

          I'm assuming you haven't investigated the phenomena being discussed.

          Mammals and reptiles both tend to develop in a continuous fashion - infants look much like miniature adults, and a juvenile will look like a blending of the infant and adult forms. Many birds on the other hand do NOT develop in this fashion - a not-quite-adult Hornbill for example looks much like an almost-adult-sized infant, it's not until it reaches full maturity that it's skull undergoes a dramatic morphological change to acquire the "h

        • by argStyopa (232550)

          "...This is no different from any other science where you make a hypothesis, test it with new evidence, and if it doesn't hold up, you toss it...."

          Except that upon finding a new metorite, astronomers don't speculate that there's an entirely new planet they 'just haven't found yet'.

          I appreciate your points, but it seems that there's a level of hyperbole in the declaration of new speciation that exceeds mere scientific method.

    • Every time I read about a new species of dinosaur I keep this documentary in mind:
      A Third of Dinosaur Species Never Existed? [nationalgeographic.com]

      Many dinosaurs may be facing a new kind of extinction—a controversial theory suggests as many as a third of all known dinosaur species never existed in the first place.
      That's because young dinosaurs didn't look like Mini-Me versions of their parents, according to new analyses by paleontologists Mark Goodwin, University of California, Berkeley, and Jack Horner, of Montana State University.

      The documentary makes a compelling case that juvenile examples of various species have been misidentified as a separate species of dinosaur.

      ==========
      Did you ever consider that with global warming, with the seas rising, that we are facing another meltdown (or boilup), similar in consequences to the ice age?

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @05:53AM (#41566909) Homepage
    It has a beak shaped like a parrot?
  • Sorry to nitpick, but I think the less politically correct "Ugliest" is better than rating the "attractiveness" of a dinosaur, or for any animal for that matter.

  • So it is a herbivore, but all of its teeth are like those of a meat eater?
    Yay right.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @10:21AM (#41568111) Homepage

    Herbivore with tusks? That is unheard of!

    They [wikipedia.org] definitely [wikipedia.org] do not [wikipedia.org] exist.

  • I wonder if Jesus ever saw one of these?
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      I wonder if Jesus ever saw one of these?

      It's unlikely, as Jesus [google.co.uk] is of a species [wikipedia.org] that only appeared in the late Cretaceous period [wikipedia.org], whereas Pegomastax [wikipedia.org] (the "new" dinosaur) was found in rocks associated with the early Jurassic [wikipedia.org] period.

      I mean, they might have met, but the Pegomastax would have been really, really, *really* old by that time, and too set in his ways to accept this newfangled whippersnapper and his newfangled religion.

  • ... but doesn't a new species of dinosaur sound a little far-fetched?
  • It is the group of individuals who believe in "America, Rebecoming The Great Nation We Once Weren't". Wonder what we can call them? Republicanodon? Republicanosarus?
  • You can almost hear Dieter Stark screaming 'Helvetes jÃvlar!'"

    Huh?

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