New Dinosaur Species Discovered

Photo+courtesy+independent.co.uk

Photo courtesy independent.co.uk

A chance fossil that was discovered by retired nuclear physicist and amateur Bill paleontologist Shipp, around a decade ago near Winifred, Montana has recently led to the identification of a new horned dinosaur species, according to sciencedaily.com.

The name given to the fossil is Judith, named after the Judith River rock formation according to www.theguardian.com. These dinosaurs lived about 76 million years ago,  were about 15 feet long, weighed around four tons, and like the Triceratops, were plant eaters. The scientific name created for the dinosaur is the “Spiclypeus Shipporum.” “Spiclypeus is a combination of two Latin words meaning “spiked shield,” referring to the impressive head frill and triangular spikes that adorn its margins,” according to sciencedaily.com.  The name Shipporium is named after the Shipp family.

The Spiclypeus Shipporum is different when compared to other horned dinosaurs because the horns on its head are arranged in a different way. Unlike the well-known Triceratops which has two horns above its eyes and one on its nose, the Spiclypeus Shipporum has horns that are above the eyes, but they stick out sideways from the skull. Also, the horns project outward while others curl forward, when normal dinosaur horns stick out straight forward, according to sciencedaily.com.

“This new animal provides another piece in the puzzle of our view of what the ecosystem of central Montana 76m years ago was like,” stated John Scannella, manager of paleontology collections at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, reported theguardian.com.

“‘I found it accidentally on purpose. I was actually looking for dinosaur bones, but with no expectation of actually finding any,’” Bill Shipp stated according postregister.com.

When the dinosaur died, it was at least ten years old and its bone showed signs of infection that would have left Judith hobbled. This situation would have made Judith vulnerable to dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus-Rex, reported www.theguardian.com.

“Researchers found evidence of infection in the 15-foot, four ton plant-eater’s leg, that research Jordan Mallon said would have left the animal vulnerable to predators”, reported the independent.co.uk.com