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A dinosaur tooth discovered in Appalachia suggests big horned dinosaurs may have lived in the eastern US
“Some dinosaur discoveries get coverage equal in size to the animal’s stature. The announcement of “The Titanosaur”, currently looming over visitors to the American Museum of Natural History, was impossible to miss, and just about anything involvingTyrannosaurus rex is going to be crowed by headlines in every science news section. But often the fossils that change our knowledge of the past are tiny and don’t carry the same visual flash as the typically-hyped finds of the giant and the fierce. Consider a tooth found in the Magnolia State.
The isolated fossil, washed out of its resting place of over 66 million years by a modern stream, was spotted by paleontologist George Phillips as he searched Mississippi’s Owl Creek Formation for fossils. The tooth was obviously from some sort of herbivorous Cretaceous dinosaur, but what kind? And so, at the intersection of the ancient and modern, Phillips posted a photo of the find to Facebook.
It didn’t take long for preliminary identifications to start popping up. Colleague Lynn Harrell suggested that the tooth belonged to a ceratopsian dinosaur – think Triceratops and its relatives – and shared the post. And that’s what brought the photo to the attention of Harnell’s mutual friend and ceratopsian expert Andrew Farke. “When I saw the picture there was no doubt what it was!,” Farke recalls. The teeth of horned dinosaurs are distinctive and easy to spot. But here’s the rub – no one had expected to find a horned dinosaur here.” (…) READ MORE
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