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2010 美國猶他州的恐龍「豐收年」

2010年12月31日
摘譯自2010年12月23日ENS美國猶他州,猶他州報導;洪美惠編譯;蔡麗伶審校

由這些骨頭進行鑑定,確定Geminiraptor suarezarum 屬於一個新屬。圖片來自:PLoS。2010年在美國猶他州聯邦公共土地,破紀錄地發現到8種新種恐龍,而這8個新紀錄種,也都各自代表生物學分類上新的「屬」。

12月15日,猶他州土地管理局在綠河附近的公有土地所發現第7種新恐龍,於由土地管理局、猶他州地質調查局、坦波大學共同宣布命名為Geminiraptor suarezarum,為小型恐龍,是北美最古老的「猛禽般的」傷齒龍科恐龍,存活在1.25億年前──在北美發現的傷齒龍,大部份都是存活在7200至7500年前。

緊接著,國家公園管理局又命名了一種新的長頸恐龍,使得猶他州在2010年破紀錄地共發現到8種新種恐龍。

目前全球大約有700種已命名的恐龍,前述紀錄代表著,在2010年猶他州一地所發現的恐龍就占了1%。

這類「猛禽般的」的傷齒龍科恐龍,如Geminiraptor suarezarum,與整體恐龍相比,他們的頭顱容量比較大,因此常被認為智能發展較為超前。

最近在猶他州土地上發現的植食性Utahceratops和Kosmoceratops 是著名的三角龍的近親,於2010年命名。

Utahceratops gettyi 的頭骨有2.3米長,鼻部上方有一個大角,兩側有顯著的短而鈍的眼角,因為角不是朝上的關係,相較於三角龍則更像是現代野牛。

Kosmoceratops richardsoni 共有15支角,1支在鼻部、每隻眼睛上方以及顴骨上方各1支角、沿著後方骨狀皺褶共有10支角,這些角使得它成為已知最華麗的恐龍。

Geminiraptor,大約生存在1.25億年前,無疑是最古老的恐龍。這個標本安置在美國東猶他大學史前博物館,相當具有特色。由於有著獨特的氣囊,使得上顎骨發育不完全。因為化石上有這個特徵,而認定為傷齒龍科的新物種。

這個發現地點,被稱為Suarez Sister's Site,是位在綠河附近由土地管理局的土地上。此處還以恐龍大規模死亡的第二地點聞名,這些恐龍還包括奇特的鐮刀爪恐龍 Falcarius。

此發現是由探索頻道和猶他州地質調查局資助,在土管局土地上進行的研究計畫之一,並成為2005年科學頻道紀錄片「猶他州恐龍墓地」。

Wealth of Utah Dinosaur Discoveries Named in 2010
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, December 23, 2010 (ENS)

A record breaking eight new species of dinosaur were described from federal public lands in Utah in 2010 - each representing a genus that is new to science.

On December 15, the Bureau of Land Management, Utah Geological Survey, and Temple University announced the naming of the seventh new dinosaur discovered on BLM lands in Utah this year.

The small Geminiraptor suarezarum, found on BLM lands near Green River, Utah, is the oldest reported "raptor-like" troodontid dinosaur in North America - 125 million years old. Most troodontid dinosaurs from North America are dated to between 72 and 75 million years ago.

Additionally, the National Park Service named a new long-necked dinosaur to bring the state of Utah to a record-breaking total of eight new dinosaurs in 2010.

Worldwide there about 700 named dinosaurs. This string of dinosaur descriptions means that one percent of all known dinosaur species were described from lands in Utah during 2010.

Troodontid dinosaurs like Geminiraptor suarezarum are "raptor-like" dinosaurs often credited with being more intellectually advanced based on their large cranial capacity compared with the overall size of the animal.

Close relatives of the famous Triceratops, the recently discovered plant-eating Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops found on Bureau of Land Management lands in Utah received their names in 2010.

Utahceratops gettyi has a skull 2.3 meters long, a large horn over the nose, and short and blunt eye horns that project strongly to the side rather than upward, much more like the horns of modern bison than those of Triceratops.

Kosmoceratops richardsoni has a total of 15 horns - one over the nose, one atop each eye, one at the tip of each cheek bone, and ten across the rear margin of the bony frill - making it the most ornate headed dinosaur known.

Geminiraptor, at about 125 million years of age, is easily the oldest. The specimen, housed at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, is a distinctive, but incomplete upper jaw inflated by a large, unique air sack that identifies the fossil as belonging to a new species of troodontid.

The site where it was found, known as the Suarez Sister's Site, is located on BLM lands near Green River and is the second area that is known to have a mass-mortality assemblage of dinosaurs that include the odd sickle-clawed dinosaur Falcarius.

The discovery was part of a project on BLM lands funded by the Discovery Channel and the Utah Geological Survey and was featured on the 2005 Science Channel documentary "Utah's Dinosaur Graveyard."

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導

作者

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.