New species of duck-billed dinosaur classified in Texas

In a new study published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology, a team of paleontologists announced the identification of a new species, as well as a new genus, of a duck-billed dinosaur, the Aquilarhinus palimentus.

The name itself refers to the aquiline nose and the large lower jaw, characteristics of a very strange head as can also be seen from the artistic representations supplied with the press release. The analysis covers various bones collected during the 1980s near the rocky layers of the Rattle Snake Mountain, Texas.

During the 1990s, few studies were carried out regarding these remains and only the arched nasal crest was identified, which suggested that the dinosaur belonged to the genus of the gryposaurus. However, the new analysis, which later resulted in the article published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology, led to a different identification.

According to paleontologists, it is a more primitive dinosaur than the gryposaurus, although belonging to the family of adrosaurids, the same family to which the genus of gryposaurus belongs.

It is “one of the most primitive hadrosaurids known,” as specified by Albert Prieto-Márquez from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, the lead author of the study.

The duck-billed dinosaurs boast a particular lower jaw that meets the upper one forming a sort of U that supports a cup-shaped beak, especially useful for eating plants. However, the newly discovered Aquilarhinus boasts a lower jaw that meets with the upper one in a different way, forming a sort of W.