A team of scientists in Mexico has identified a new species of dinosaurs after discovering its ancient remains almost 10 years ago.
The specimen, which has been named Tlatolophus galorum, is thought to have died around 72 million years ago in what is now Mexico’s northern state of Coahuila, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) announced.
After initially discovering the tail, paleontologists said they later found most of its skull, a 1.32-meter (4.3-foot) bony hollow crest through which it communicated, as well as bones such as its femur and shoulder.
The research began in 2013 with the discovery of a 72-million-year-old fossilised tail.
A team of paleontologists in Mexico identified a new species of dinosaur after finding its 72 million-year-old fossilized remains almost a decade ago https://t.co/3kdQv7xrXV pic.twitter.com/IMVhFwvlaf— Reuters (@Reuters) May 15, 2021
“Once we recovered the tail, we continued digging below where it was located. The surprise was that we began to find bones such as the femur, the scapula, and other elements,” said paleobiologist Angel Alejandro Ramirez.
Mexican researchers think Tlatolophus galorum’s crest may have been red.
“We believe that these dinosaurs, like modern birds, saw in color and so these structures like the crest were possibly brightly colored. They could have been completely red, or multi-colored, with spots,” Ramirez said.
The discovery is still under investigation, but research about the ancient reptile has already been published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research, according to the INAH.
“It is an exceptional case in Mexican paleontology,” it said. “Highly favorable events had to occur millions of years ago, when Coahuila was a tropical region, for it to be conserved in the conditions it was found in.”
The name Tlatolophus is derived from tlahtolli—which means word in the indigenous Nahuatl language—and lophus, meaning crest in Greek, the researchers said.