Dinosaur named thunder-thighs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fossil remains recovered from a quarry in Utah, US, are fragmentary but enough to tell researchers the creature must have possessed extremely powerful legs.

The new species, described in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, is a sauropod - the family of dinosaurs famous for their long necks and tails.

It could have given other animals a hefty kick, say its discoverers.

"If predators came after it, it would have been able to boot them out of the way," said Dr Mike Taylor, from University College London, UK.

The team has named its dinosaur Brontomerus mcintoshi - from the Greek "bronto", meaning "thunder"; and "merĂ³s", meaning "thigh".

The fossilised bones of two specimens - an adult and a juvenile - have been dated to be about 110 million years old.

They were rescued from the Hotel Mesa Quarry in Grand County, Utah.

The site has been looted by commercial fossil-hunters and so scientists have probably been denied the full range of material from which to make their classification.

Nonetheless, those bones they do have sport tell-tale features that mark out an extraordinary species.

Chief among them is a hip-bone, called the ilium, which is unusually large in comparison to that of similar dinosaurs.
Hip bone (UCL) The size and shape of the hip-bone tells scientists about the muscles in the leg

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit rareresource.com.


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