Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Competition May Have Led To New Dinosaur Species In Northwestern Alberta

Date:
May 15, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
The discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in Northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species there. Paleontologists found a nesting site and the remains of baby, plant-eating dinosaurs and the teeth of a predator.

Scientists think that the discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in Northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species there.
Credit: Artwork by Lucas Panzarin / Source: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

The discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species there.

University of Alberta student Tetsuto Miyashita and Frederico Fanti, a paleontology graduate student from Italy, made the discovery near Grande Prairie, 450 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Miyashita and Fanti came across a nesting site and found the remains of baby, plant-eating dinosaurs and the teeth of a predator. The researchers matched the teeth to a Troodon, a raptor-like dinosaur about two metres in length. This finding has opened new doors in dinosaur research on this part of the continent: "It established that dinosaurs were nesting at this high latitude," said Miyashita. "It also shows for the first time a significant number of Troodons in the area [who] hunted hatchling dinosaurs."

Over the course of two summers of field work Miyashita and Fanti began building a theory that Grande Prairie is a "missing link" between known dinosaur species that existed much further to the north and south. "Prior to this there were no localities with a variety of dinosaurs and other animals between Alaska and southern Alberta," said Myiashita. The list of new finds for the area includes armoured and thick-headed plant eaters and fossilized freshwater fish and reptiles.

Miyashita says this small pocket of previously undiscovered life could have had interactions that lead to the evolution of new species.

"New dinosaurs weren't created by interbreeding," said Miyashita. "Having a variety of dinosaurs in one area creates new ecological interactions such as competition for food and predation.

"That can lead to the evolution of a new species."

One Grande Prairie dinosaur the researchers suspect is a new species is the Duck bill. Miyashita says unlike the Duck bill found further north in Alaska, the Grande Prairie has a visible bump or crest on its forehead. The pair will go back to Grande Prairie area in 2010 to focus on finding other dinosaur species in the area.

Miyashit and Fanti's work was published this month in Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeocilmatology, Palaeoecology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Federico Fanti, Tetsuto Miyashita. A high latitude vertebrate fossil assemblage from the Late Cretaceous of west-central Alberta, Canada: evidence for dinosaur nesting and vertebrate latitudinal gradient. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 2009; 275 (1-4): 37 DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.007

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Competition May Have Led To New Dinosaur Species In Northwestern Alberta." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134657.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, May 15). Competition May Have Led To New Dinosaur Species In Northwestern Alberta. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134657.htm
University of Alberta. "Competition May Have Led To New Dinosaur Species In Northwestern Alberta." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134657.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Explicit Chinese art works dating back centuries go on display in Hong Kong, revealing China's ancient relationship with sex. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) Parisians and local historians are fighting to save one of the French capital's iconic buildings, the La Samaritaine department store. Duration: 01:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bee Fossils Provide Insight Into Ice Age Environment

Bee Fossils Provide Insight Into Ice Age Environment

Newsy (Apr. 12, 2014) Archeologists have found many fossils in the La Brea Tar Pits, including those of saber-tooth tigers and mammoths. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daddy Longlegs Once Had 4 Eyes

Daddy Longlegs Once Had 4 Eyes

Newsy (Apr. 11, 2014) A new fossil has revealed daddy longlegs one had an extra pair of eyes. Modern species retain the gene for the extra pair but never develop them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins