Plant-eating 'King Nose' dinosaurs roamed Utah plains 75mn yrs ago

A new research has revealed about the discovery of a hadrosaur species with a truly distinctive nasal profile that lived approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

ANI| Updated: Sep 21, 2014, 00:57 AM IST
Plant-eating 'King Nose' dinosaurs roamed Utah plains 75mn yrs ago

Washington: A new research has revealed about the discovery of a hadrosaur species with a truly distinctive nasal profile that lived approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

The study at North Carolina State University shows that the new dinosaur named Rhinorex, which translates roughly into "King Nose," was a plant-eater and a close relative of other Cretaceous hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus and Edmontosaurus.

Hadrosaurs are usually identified by bony crests that extended from the skull, but Edmontosaurus doesn't have such a hard crest (paleontologists have discovered that it had a fleshy crest).

Rhinorex also lacks a crest on the top of its head and instead, this new dinosaur has a huge nose.

Researcher Terry Gates said that they had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful, but the preparation was very difficult as it took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in that was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.

Based on the recovered bones, Gates estimated that Rhinorex was about 30 feet long, weighed over 8,500 lbs and lived in a swampy estuarial environment, about 50 miles from the coast.

Rhinorex is the only complete hadrosaur fossil from the Neslen site and it helps fill in some gaps about habitat segregation during the Late Cretaceous.

The study is published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.