The fossil of a new dinosaur has been discovered in Utah and scientists have named the large creature the Nose King.
The dinosaur was named for its large nose, and scientists are curious as to how the nose was used.
Scientists say that the dinosaur was a herbivore and could have grown to be 30 feet tall and weigh as much as 8500 pounds. They believe it lived in swampy areas.
Scientists are very excited about the discovery and believe it will help them learn more about the Cretaceous period, which is the time period that they believe the Nose King would have lived.
— BYU (@BYU) October 1, 2014
“We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful,” N.C. State researcher Terry Gates said. “But the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in — it was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.”
“We’ve found other hadrosaurs from the same time period but located about 200 miles farther south that are adapted to a different environment,” Gates added. “This discovery gives us a geographic snapshot of the Cretaceous, and helps us place contemporary species in their correct time and place. Rhinorex also helps us further fill in the hadrosaur family tree.”
Although scientists aren’t sure how the dinosaur used its large nose, there are several theories. Some believe the nose was used to attract mates and others believe it could have been used to show dominance and to fight.
“Maybe the nose was used as a means of attracting mates, recognizing members of its species, or even as a large attachment for a plant-smashing beak, Gates said. “We are already sniffing out answers to these questions.”
The dinosaur’s scientific name is Rhinorex condrupus, and it was a gentle giant of the duck-billed dino family, or hadrosaurs. These dinosaurs lived near estuaries and ate algae and aquatic plants.