Welcome Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis, a new dinosaur from Saskatchewan
Today, University of Toronto graduate student Caleb Brown and colleagues announced the discovery of Canada’s newest dinosaur, Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis– the first new dinosaur species to be discovered in Saskatchewan since 1926. Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis, being about the size of the white-tailed deer, is one of the smallest known plant-eating dinosaurs at the end-Cretaceous- a tumultuous period in Earth’s history that ended in the extinction of the dinosaurs. Its discovery illustrates that small-bodied dinosaurs were more diverse, and potentially more abundant, facing the end Cretaceous extinction even than had previously been thought. This is particularly interesting when the large-bodied dinosaurs, which are better known, appear to show a decrease in diversity-as highlighted some new research into the K-T extinction here.
More on Caleb’s research can be found at the ROM Blog here.
Brown, C. M. Boyd, C. A., Russell, A. P. 2011. A new basal ornithopod dinosaur (Frenchman Formation, Saskatchewan, Canada), and implications for late Maastrichtian ornithischian diversity in North America. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 163: 1157-1198.