New dinosaur species discovered in the U.S.

Paleontologists: Finding a new species is extremely rare

Ankylousaur (Photo Courtesy: KRQE.com)
Ankylousaur Fossil (Photo Courtesy: KRQE.com)
Ankylousaur Fossil (Photo Courtesy: KRQE.com)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie but it once was real and roamed New Mexico 73-million years ago. The dinosaur can now only be seen in Albuquerque because it’s the only one that’s ever been found.

Wednesday the skull of a new dinosaur species was unveiled at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. It was a big discovery for paleontologist, Doctor Robert Sullivan, who was working In the Bisiti Wilderness in the San Juan Basin just south of Farmington in 2011 and Wednesday his find was made public.

“It’s called an Ankylousaur. It looks vaguely like an armored alligator,” BLM paleontologist Phil Gensler said.

Ankylousaur (Photo Courtesy: KRQE.com)
Ankylousaur (Photo Courtesy: KRQE.com)

While there were all kinds of Ankylousaurs during the Cretaceous Period, Sullivan had discovered the skull and part of the neck of a new one called the Zia Pelta. “This one here in particular based on traits of its skull is a new species,” Gensler said.

The condition of the dinosaur’s bones is also a unique find. “Rare that you find something like this that is so well preserved and missing very little of the skull,” Paleontologist Dr. Robert M. Sullivan said.

The rest of the dinosaur’s body is still missing but paleontologists were still able to create a sketch of what the dinosaur may have looked like. The once heavily armored dinosaur is now on display in Albuquerque.

Paleontologists have spent decades digging in the San Juan Basin and often find dinosaurs there but they say finding a new species is extremely rare.

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