Gobihadros mongoliensis: New Dinosaur Species Uncovered in Mongolia
Paleontologists in Mongolia have discovered a new species of hadrosauroid dinosaur that roamed what is now the Gobi Desert approximately 90 million years ago.
Members of the dinosaur family Hadrosauridae, also known as duck-billed dinosaurs, were widespread and ecologically important large herbivores during the Late Cretaceous Period, but little is known about their early evolution.
In recent years, many new hadrosaurid species have been filling in this picture, but few complete remains are known from the early part of the Late Cretaceous, which is when the group originated.
Dr. Khishigjav Tsogtbataaar from the Mongolian Academy of Science and colleagues found a new species closely related to Hadrosauridae, Gobihadros mongoliensis.
An almost complete and undeformed skull and skeleton of this dinosaur, as well as extensive referred material, were unearthed in the Bayshin Tsav region of the Gobi Desert.
An anatomical analysis revealed that Gobihadros mongoliensis doesn’t quite fit into Hadrosauridae, but is a very close cousin, making it the first such dinosaur known from complete remains from the Late Cretaceous of central Asia.
“Gobihadros mongoliensis did not directly give rise to later Asian hadrosaurs,” the paleontologists said.
“Instead, those Asian hadrosaurs appear to have migrated over from North America during the Late Cretaceous.”
“The new species and its close Asian relatives seem to disappear as these new hadrosaurs enter Asia, suggesting that the invaders might have ultimately outcompeted species like Gobihadros mongoliensis.”
The discovery of Gobihadros mongoliensis is reported in the journal PLoS ONE.
K. Tsogtbaatar et al. 2019. A new hadrosauroid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Late Cretaceous Baynshire Formation of the Gobi Desert (Mongolia). PLoS ONE 14 (4): e0208480; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208480