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Science

Introducing A New Dinosaur Found At Dinosaur National Monument

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Credit Dan Chure / University of Utah
/
University of Utah
The fossilized skeleton of Allosaurus jimmadseni encased in stone.

Mark Loewen is a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Utah and the Natural History Museum of Utah.

 

Allosaurus jimmadseni had a different skull architecture than the more popular Allosaurus fragilis."

An Allo-what now?

“So Allosaurus is your standard meat eating dinosaur, with a head full of eighty sharp teeth, it’s got three sharp claws on long arms.  Looks a lot like T-rex,” Loewen said.

“The fossil that represents this new species was found at Dinosaur National Monument, here in eastern Utah.  At the time when these animals lived about 157 million years ago, Utah was a giant flood plain. And these animals would be living in amongst pine trees and trees like Sequoias. There were no leafy trees at the time, no grass.”

“This new species is named for a famous Utah paleontologist. His name was Jim Madsen, he dug up more bones of Allosaurus than anyone in the history of the world," Loewen said.

Paleontologists often find their way to Utah.

“Utah has the best record of dinosaurs from the beginning of their evolution to the end, of any place in North America. In fact, it’s entirely possible that we will name four new dinosaurs from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument just this year.”

Their findings have important implications for our current world as well.

“Dinosaurs lived and died as their ecosystems changed," Loewen said. "So we can literally look at climate change 76 million years ago, and make some predictions about the consequences that we will face as we’re going forward into our changing world of climate.”