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Tuesday AM headlines: New dinosaur species found in Utah, fireflies in Nibley

A fossilized lower jaw and teeth.
Mark Thiessen and Becky Hale
Smithsonian Magazine
The lower jaw and teeth of Iani smithi.

See fireflies in Nibley this summer

Nibley is home to one of the few easily accessible public places to see fireflies in Utah. Firefly Park in Nibley was established a few years ago to protect one of Cache Valley’s many natural wetlands. For a few short weeks this summer, visitors to the park may be able to see fireflies light up the night.

Fireflies mainly use their light for mating, which means they’ll only be visible until early July, with a peak in mid-June. They’re best seen after 10 p.m. on a night without rain or heavy winds.

Nibley City asks visitors to be respectful of neighbors and other park visitors by being quiet and not adding more light pollution. It is also illegal to capture or disturb wildlife at Firefly Park, which includes catching fireflies.

New dinosaur species discovered in eastern Utah

The fossil remains of a new dinosaur species were recently identified from a 99-million-year-old rock from eastern Utah.

Paleontologists spent years researching the well-preserved fossil skeleton, first located in 2015, and have dubbed the new species of dinosaur Iani smithi, after the two-faced Roman god of transitions, for the ever-changing species and climate of its age, the Cretaceous Period.

The dinosaur is said to be 12 feet long from tip to snout with a beak similar to a duck bill, marking it as an herbivore, but no horns or other outstanding features experts normally associate with dinosaurs.

Iani is a rare discovery for experts, as there’s been a scarcity of fossil remains dating back to that time period, between 145 million to 66 million years ago.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.