Mystery dinosaur may be a new species

June 13th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, June 13 (IANS) A 70 million-year-old dinosaur, whose fossil was discovered in British Columbia more than 37 years ago, may have been a hitherto unknown plant-eating species, says an expert. The fossil - the most complete set of bones ever found globally and the first dinosaur discovery in Canada - had been discovered in the Sustut Basin way back in 1971.

The bones were recently re-examined by a University of Alberta researcher.

“The Sustut dinosaur may be a new species, but we won’t know for sure until more fossils can be found. It’s very distinct from other dinosaurs that were found at the same time in southern Alberta,” said Victoria Arbour, who studied the bones.

Yet, she said, “there are similarities with two other kinds of dinosaurs, although there’s also an arm bone we’ve never seen before”.

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 creature’s identity is a mystery, Arbour said.

The fossils are currently in the collection of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and Arbour hopes to lead a new team to the site for further investigation.

Arbour’s findings were published recently in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

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