75–Million–Year Old ‘Chasm’ to Fill Evolutionary Gaps

Monday, January 18, 2016

Juvenile Chasmosaurus

Palaeontologists from the University of Alberta, Canada are on their way to fill evolutionary gaps with the help of a 75–million–year–old fossil of a 3–year–old Chasmosaurus. Scientists believe the juvenile Chasmousaurus may help fill in the gaps in the evolution of other horned dinosaurs.

“For the first time ever, we have a complete skeleton of a baby ceratopsid, “said Philip Currie from the University of Alberta. He said that earlier they had only a few bones that gave them an idea of what ceratopsid looked like as youngsters, but the discovery has paved the way for filling in the evolutionary gaps of other horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops.

The fossil is just a little over 1.5 m in length but it would have grown to 5 metres, had it reached adulthood. A fully grown ceratopsid would have been heavier than an Indian elephant. “We now have an anchor point with the baby that we can compare with all other specimens of this species and from that comparison, we can calculate the dimensions, body weights and ages for all other ceratopsid species,” Currie said.

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