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School Kid Finds Fossil Skeleton of Baby Dinosaur in US

Update Date: Oct 23, 2013 03:19 PM EDT
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A high school student in US has accidentally found the youngest and most complete fossil skeleton of a Parasaurolophus dinosaur.

It is believed that the Parasaurolophus dinosaur lived throughout the western part of North America around 75 million years ago. Parasaurolophus dinosaur has a long hollow bony tube on the top of its skull which makes it completely different from other species. Scientists believe that it was used like a trumpet to blast sound for communication.

The discovery is announced officially by the Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology in California.

“At first I was interested in seeing what the initial piece of bone sticking out of the rock was. When we exposed the skull, I was ecstatic!”high school student Kevin Terris said according to TOI.

The fossil after subsequent cleaning is named as “Joe”. If the detailed study is done somehow on the Joe, it would the most complete specimen yet known.

“Our baby Parasaurolophus is barely one-quarter of adult size, but it had already started growing its crest,” said lead project scientist Andrew Farke, who is also Augustyn Family Curator at the Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology, reports TOI.

“This is surprising, because related dinosaurs didn’t sprout their ornamentation until they were at least half-grown. Parasaurolophus had to get an early start in order to form its unique headgear,” Farke added.

Scientists determined the animal’s age of death from its sample of bone.

“Dinosaurs have yearly growth rings in their bone tissue, like trees. But we didn’t see even one ring. That means it grew to a quarter of adult size in less than a year,” commented co-author Sarah Werning of Stony Brook University according to TOI.

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