Friday, May 28, 2010

New species of plant-eating dinosaur named: ‘Grinding mouth, wrinkle eye’

The Dinosaur, whose name translates to mean "grinding-mouth, wrinkle-eye," was most likely an herbivore that ate the ferns and conifer trees that found as Fossils in the same rock layer. A basal hadrosauroid, the discover included partial skull bones, several vertebrae and fragments of the ribs.

Jeyawati is a close relative of the duck-billed hadrosaurs, which were copious across the Northern Hemisphere for much of the Late Cretaceous Epoch, between 80 and 65 million years before. Jeyawati retains some primitive features of the teeth and jaws that stop it from being a fully-fledged hadrosaur.

Jeyawati, pronounced "HEY-a-WHAT-ee," is derived from two words in the language of the Zuni people, a Native American tribe situated around the Zuni River in western New Mexico. The name is a reference to the sophisticated chewing mechanism developed by the herbivorous lineage to which Jeyawati belongs.

The second part of the name, rugoculus, arrives from the Latin words ruga and oculus and means "wrinkle eye," describing a unique feature of the new species. One of the Dinosaur bones that forms the eye socket shows a peculiar rough or wrinkly texture on its outer side, suggesting that Jeyawati rugoculus might have sported one or more large scales above and behind its eye.

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