A new dinosaur has been discovered and it has paleontologists excited because it belongs to a lineage of herbivores that no one knew existed. It’s called Chilesaurus diegosuarezi. Its name comes from the country where it was found, combined with the name of the seven year old boy who discovered it.
Chilesaurus was a theropod but, unlike most other theropods, it was a plant eater. It’s also unusual because it had characteristics of other dinosaurs but it belonged to a separate group of dinos. Martin Ezcurra is one of the scientists who worked on the project. He describes Chilesaurus like this, “Its skull and neck look like those of primitive long-necked dinosaurs like Plateosaurus; the vertebrae resemble those of primitive meat-eating theropods such as Dilophosaurus; the pelvis is very similar to that of ornithischian dinosaurs such as Iguanodon; and the hand has only two well-developed fingers as in Tyranosaurus Rex, but with a longer arm.”
Click here to read more of Ezcurra’s description of the ID process. This article has a great picture of the Chilesaurus’ fossilized teeth.