Researchers Have Found Rare Baby Dinosaur Fossil

Researchers Have Found Rare Baby Dinosaur Fossil

Scientists have detected a baby dinosaur fossil (Andrew). His skull was found in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Montana, and there is no much of him left now. It is supposed that baby dinosaur lived during the Jurassic Period. A research of the skull, which is just over 9 inches long, was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“This skull is the smallest Diplodocus skull ever found,” said Cary Woodruff, study author and director of paleontology at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Montana. “It’s not just its size that’s important; its overall proportions and especially the teeth help us to better understand how Diplodocus grew up.”

Andrew is the smallest Diplodocus skull ever found
Andrew is the smallest Diplodocus skull ever found

During detecting the baby dinosaur fossil (skull of the young Diplodocus), researchers claim that baby dinosaurs were a lot different than their parents — not just smaller versions of them. Diplodocus skulls are unusual, and it’s even more rare to find one belonging to a young one.

Although the adults are known for the peg-like teeth at the front of their mouths, Andrew had those as well as spatulate teeth at the back of his mouth.

“We think this combination of tooth forms indicates that young Diplodocus were feeding on a wider variety of plant types,” Woodruff said. “Which makes sense. These young dinosaurs are growing super-fast, so a young Diplodocus could quite literally eat ‘all of its veggies’ to fuel its rapid growth rate.”

Baby dinosaur is different from his parents

According to the study Andrew had a short narrow snout, but we can’t say the same about his parents. Parents’ snouts are wide and square. His snout was suited to forests, but his parents would be grazing the ground in open areas.

“I’ve been thinking of these roving bands of young Diplodocus in the forests akin to Peter Pan’s Lost Boys,” Woodruff said. “These age-segregated herds likely sought refuge in more forested areas where they could hide and be more concealed, opposed to being out in the open.” “Andrew represents a critical piece of the puzzle for understanding how young sauropods like Diplodocus grew up,” he added. “But that story is far from complete, and I want to know more about the intimate life history details of a Diplodocus’ entire life.”

Source: www.ksl.com