STATES CHRONICLE – The first ever complete remains of a pentaceratops have been found in the wilderness and now the dinosaur fossils are taken to a New Mexico museum via helicopter.
It was such an incredible, rare and precious find that the paleontologists actually received help from the National Guard to transport the fossils back to a museum.
But that was not the only reason why they chose this means of transportation. The fact that the little dinosaur was found deep in the wilderness meant that any other way of transporting him back to safety in one piece was impossible, as the museum curator Spencer Lucas explains.
The team found fossils belonging to two such dinosaurs, a baby and an adult. From the adult they only found the skull, but from the baby they found an almost complete skeleton, thus making it the first complete skeleton of a pentaceratops ever found in the world. This very much excited scientists, as they’ve never seen a baby before. Why is this important? Because the pentaceratops, along with a few other dinosaurs is known to dramatically change its appearance between adolescence and maturity.
Apart from that, of course scientists also hope to learn new things and to have questions answered by studying the remains.
The Pentaceratops was a herbivore dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period in the region we now call North America. He was about twenty feet long and weighed an estimated five tons. The animal’s head was very distinctive, with a huge “crown” on it. It presented a short nose horn, two long brow horns, and other long horns on the jugal bone, a bone usually found in reptiles, birds and amphibians, connected to the maxilla.
The Pentaceratops’ skull also sported a very long frill with triangular hornets on the edge. All of these features make him quite a remarkable gentle giant, which is why researchers are so excited about their new find in the New Mexico wilderness.
The dinosaur, seeing as it was a herbivore, most likely fed on plants such as ferns, cycads and conifers. It would have used its sharp beak to snap off entire branches off trees and eat them completely, leaves, needles and all.
It was probably a herding animal, it hatched from eggs and, when threatened by other predators it probably charged into them like a rhino would do today, which most likely made for a very effective defense.
Image Source: www.wikipedia.org