MAY 30, 2017 6:59 AM PDT

Overlooked Dinosaur Fossil Turns Out to be a New Species

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Paleontologists seem to discover new fossils almost every other day across the lands of Earth, but sometimes it’s the fossils we dug up eons ago that have the most unheard stories to tell.

An old dinosaur fossil discovered in France back in 1934 and has been in storage at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris for decades, where it has gone over-looked all this time. With that in mind, some researchers decided that maybe it was time to give it another look, and when they were finished, they were glad they did.

An artist's impression of the new dinosaur species that was discovered by investigating a several-decade-old fossil kept in a museum's storage crates.

Image Credit: Imperial College London

Published in the journal PeerJ, the researchers describe the dinosaur fossil as the remains of a previously-unknown species of dinosaur said to be closely-related to the long-necked Brachiosaurus, an herbivorous beast most Jurassic Park fans are familiar with.

The new dinosaur species is a member of the titanosauriform family and was given the name Vouivria damparisensis; it’s also being dated back to around 160 million years ago during the late Jurassic period.

Related: Do we really know what color dinosaurs were?

“We don't know what this creature died from, but millions of years later it is providing important evidence to help us understand in more detail the evolution of brachiosaurid sauropods and a much bigger group of dinosaurs that they belonged to, called titanosauriforms,” study lead-author Dr Philip Mannion of Imperial College London explains.

The study goes on to explain that Vouivira lived before the Brachiosaurus did and that it was actually an early relative of the large dinosaur, pre-dating even the previous earliest-known sauropod ever discovered by as much as 5 million years. This discovery is helping scientists to decode the evolution of dinosaurs and continue the ongoing goal of developing a family tree.

Related: Ancestors to early dinosaurs walked like crocodiles

"It starts to give us an idea that these animals were evolving much earlier than the fossil record previously has indicated," Dr Mannion continued, as he explained the discovery. "This pushes back a lot of origin times for a range of sauropod dinosaurs based on our understanding of how these different species related to one another."

While dinosaurs are long-gone today, evidence for their existence couldn’t be clearer as we continue to discovery bones and fossils that tell their story. On the other hand, there’s no telling just how many other kinds of dinosaur species might have gone unnoticed after being misidentified or lost in storage.

Only time will tell, but it should be interesting nonetheless to see what other information becomes of dinosaur fossils, both old and new.

Source: Imperial College London via BBC, Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 22, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Good Dog! Man's Best Friend Sniffs Out Prostate Cancer.
MAR 22, 2021
Good Dog! Man's Best Friend Sniffs Out Prostate Cancer.
Trained dogs can spot aggressive prostate cancers by detecting trace amounts of chemical biomarkers in urine samples, sa ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
MAY 04, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
The Weird World of Flatfish
MAY 04, 2021
The Weird World of Flatfish
Many of us have wondered how fish like sole and flounder ended up with two eyes on one side of their heads, including sc ...
MAY 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
MAY 10, 2021
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
How do sharks make transatlantic journeys without losing their way? New research published this week in Current Biology ...
MAY 16, 2021
Microbiology
Organic Meat is Less Likely to Harbor Nasty Pathogens
MAY 16, 2021
Organic Meat is Less Likely to Harbor Nasty Pathogens
Organic food has been touted as healthier, but that's been debated. While meat that is produced organically now has to m ...
MAY 23, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Predictions in the Fly Brain Use Potentially Universal Methods
MAY 23, 2021
Predictions in the Fly Brain Use Potentially Universal Methods
The brain of the fruit fly may only be the size of a poppy seed, but it seems that it's capable of making prediction ...
Loading Comments...