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Paleontologists Establish New Species of Herbivorous Dinosaur

A brand new genus and species of rhabdodontid ornithopod dinosaur has been recognized from the fossilized cranium bones discovered within the Haţeg Basin in western Romania.

Inhabitants of the ‘Island of the Dwarf Dinosaurs’ within the Cretaceous Transylvania: Transylvanosaurus platycephalus (entrance proper), in addition to turtles, crocodiles, big pterosaurs, and dwarf dinosaurs. Picture credit score: Peter Nickolaus.

The newly-identified dinosaur species lived in what’s now Transylvania, Romania, about 70 million years in the past (Late Cretaceous epoch).

Scientifically named Transylvanosaurus platycephalus, the traditional herbivore was roughly 2 m (6.6 toes) lengthy and walked on two legs.

It belonged to Rhabdodontidae, a bunch of medium-sized iguanodontian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous epoch of Europe.

Its fossilized cranial stays had been found within the Late Cretaceous layers close to Pui within the jap a part of the Haţeg Basin, Transylvania, Romania.

“Its nearest kin lived in what’s immediately France — this was a large shock to us,” stated College of Tübingen paleontologist Felix Augustin and colleagues.

“How did Transylvanosaurus platycephalus discover its technique to the ‘Island of the Dwarf Dinosaurs’ in what’s now Transylvania?”

“Presumably a restricted provide of sources in these components of Europe at the moment led to an tailored small physique measurement.”

“For many of the Cretaceous interval, which lasted from 145 to 66 million years in the past, Europe was a tropical archipelago,” they added.

Transylvanosaurus platycephalus lived on one of many many islands along with different dwarf dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, and big flying pterosaurs which had wingspans of as much as 10 m (33 toes).”

“With every newly-discovered species we’re disproving the widespread assumption that the Late Cretaceous fauna had a low variety in Europe.”

“The oldest finds assigned to Rhabdodontidae come from Jap Europe — the animals might have unfold westwards from there, and later sure species might have returned to Transylvania,” the researchers stated.

“Fluctuations in sea stage and tectonic processes created non permanent land bridges between the various islands and will have inspired these animals to unfold.”

“Moreover, it may be assumed that the majority dinosaurs might swim to an extent, together with Transylvanosaurus platycephalus.”

“That they had highly effective legs and a strong tail. Most species, particularly reptiles, can swim from start,” Dr. Augustin stated.

“One other risk is that varied strains of rhabdodontid species developed in parallel in jap and western Europe.”

Exactly how Transylvanosaurus platycephalus ended up within the jap a part of the European archipelago stays unclear for now.

“Now we have at present too few knowledge at hand to reply these questions,” Dr. Augustin stated.

“We had only some bones for the taxonomic classification, and none longer than 12 cm (4.7 inches): the rear, decrease a part of the cranium with the occipital foramen and two frontal bones.”

“On the within of the frontal bone it was even doable to discern the contours of the mind of Transylvanosaurus platycephalus,” stated Dr. Dylan Bastiaans, a paleontologist on the College of Zurich and the Naturalis Biodiversity Middle, Leiden.

A paper describing the invention of Transylvanosaurus platycephalus was printed within the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


Felix J. Augustin et al. A brand new ornithopod dinosaur, Transylvanosaurus platycephalus gen. et sp. nov. (Dinosauria: Ornithischia), from the Higher Cretaceous of the Haţeg Basin, Romania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, printed on-line November 23, 2022; doi: 10.1080/02724634.2022.2133610

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