Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spiky Newborn Dinosaur Found in D.C. Beltway

An illustration of the baby dinosaur recently found in Maryland. Click to enlarge this image. LadyofHats


-A hatchling dinosaur representing a new species, Propanoplosaurus marylandicus, was found in Maryland.

-The dinosaur is the youngest nodosaur ever found the first hatchling ever recovered in the Eastern United States.

-Maryland had a warm, tropical environment during the Early Cretaceous and was home to many dinosaurs.

Discovery News - A five-inch-long baby dinosaur with a short nose, armor and spikes went belly-up and likely drowned in what is now the Washington, D.C. beltway, say scientists, who describe the find as a new species as well as the first hatchling of any dinosaur species ever recovered in the eastern United States.

The tiny dinosaur, Propanoplosaurus marylandicus, is the youngest nodosaur ever found. This group of short-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs reached about 30 feet long when fully grown and had powerful jaws and small teeth.

“Dinosaurs grew up faster than we ever imagined,” said Ray Stanford, a Maryland-based dinosaur tracker who was the lead author of a study on the find in the Journal of Paleontology. “We can tell that this little guy was just a hatchling because the bones were elastic and cartilaginous upon death and not ossified.”                  More