MEXICAN DINOSAUR

I’m celebrating Cinco de Mayo (a little late) and National Dinosaur Day (hey, that’s today) by looking at fossils of a “new” Mexican dinosaur akin to Parasaurolophus. That’s my buddy above, the one with the incredible hollow tubular crest that produced sound when air passed through its chambers.

The newcomer on the scene is Tlatolophus galorum. Angel Ramírez Velasco and Ricardo Servín Pichardo recently published all the marvelous deets about this creature after years of painstaking work. They found an extremely well-preserved skull (80% complete) that provides a great sense of proportion. So often, bones are shattered, bent, or crushed, making it quite difficult to ascertain what an animal actually looked like.

Seventy two million years ago, did these great beasts use their impressive crests to vocalize? I’d love to think so. Maybe one day, paleontologists will have an answer. For now, I’m envisioning them calling to their mates, or prospective mates. Perhaps they issued warning calls when predators lurked. Then again, they might have given a shout to their gang when they found some tasty food.

You don’t want to miss Louis Rey’s colorful depiction. Oh, and it’s great to see that when paleontologists had studied the fossils and determined they constitute a new genus and species, they created its unique name using the indigenous Nahuatl language, with a nod to local people who assisted in the work.

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