70-mln-yrs old dinosaur may represent a new species

June 13th, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 13 (ANI): The recent examination of a partial dinosaur skeleton unearthed in 1971 from a remote British Columbia site, has suggested that the 70 million years old dinosaur may represent an altogether new species.

Discovered by a geologist in the Sustut Basin of north-central British Columbia (B.C.) 37 years ago, the bones, which are about 70 million years old, were tucked away until being donated to Dalhousie University in 2004 and assigned to then-undergraduate student Victoria Arbour to research as an honours project.

Arbour soon realized that the bones were a rare find: they are very well-preserved and are the most complete dinosaur specimen found in B.C. to date. They are also the first bones found in B.C.s Skeena mountain range.

The seven shin, arm, toe and possible skull bones were found nestled in a dip between mountains in the Skeena range, and while the fragments resemble those from a small two-legged, plant-eating dinosaur, the rest of the creatures identity is a mystery.

According to Arbour, There are similarities with two other kinds of dinosaurs, although theres also an arm bone weve never seen before.

The Sustut dinosaur may be a new species, but we wont know for sure until more fossils can be found, she said. Its very distinct from other dinosaurs that were found at the same time in southern Alberta, she added.

The fossils are currently in the collection of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and Arbour hopes to lead a U of A team to the site for future investigation. (ANI)

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