New Dinosaur Species Named for Its (then 7 year-old) Chilean Discoverer

This new Jurassic dinosaur wasn’t discovered by a paleontologist, but by a seven-year-old child. (Are you as jealous as I am?)

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On February 4, 2004, while hiking around southern Chile with his geologist parents Manuel Suarez and Rita de la Cruz, young Diego Suarez picked up a few bones he found on a hillside. His parents immediately recognized them as a rib and vertebra of a little dinosaur, and, with his sister Macarena joining in, Diego and his family scoured the site for more.

Now, more than a decade later, the dinosaur has been named for Diego and the place it was found: Chilesaurus diegosuarezi:

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Based on several specimens unearthed at the site, Fernando Novas of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales and his co-authors announced the new plant-plucking theropod this week in Nature.

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Balanced on two legs, Chilesaurus has three thick, short fingers but only two claws, and the dinosaur’s blunt, rounded skull was set with short, leaf-shaped teeth. This combination of features, Novas says, give the dinosaur away as “a strict plant eater.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-chilesaurus-new-raptor-dinosaur-vegetarian-diet-180955101/#5Av2OQu0Tw1ZTcj2.99

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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