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Friday, April 16, 2021

Fossil found in 1980s in Texas declared new genus, species

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — Experts say fossil remains discovered in the 1980s at the Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas have been identified as a new genus and species of duckbilled dinosaur.

The Journal of Systematic Paleontology announced the classification of the Aquilarhinus palimentus last week. It was named for its aquiline nose and shovel-shaped jaw.

Texas Tech University Professor Tom Lehman discovered the fossils. The bones were weathered and stuck together. Research in the 1990s revealed two arched nasal crests.

The peculiar lower jaw was noted, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers determined the specimen was more primitive than other duckbilled dinosaurs. Duckbilled dinosaurs, or hadrosaurids, were the most common herbivorous dinosaur at the end of the Mesozoic Era.

Researchers are examining the fossils at the University of Texas at Austin.

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