'King Nose' dinosaur discovered after being left in storage for two
Scientists have said
the reason it has such a big nose remains a mystery
A mock up of what Rhinorex condrupus looked like
The remains of a 30ft-long dinosaur that had a snout so large it was
branded "King Nose" have been discovered after being left in storage for
two decades. Scientists came across the unusual duck-billed dinosaur,
which has been named Rhinorex condrupus, in storage at Brigham Young
University's Museum, Utah. It was originally excavated from Utah's
Nelsen rock formation in the 1990s.
Dr Terry Gates and Dr Scheetz said it was only as they started to
reconstruct the fossil that they realised they had found a new species.
"We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful," Dr Gates said,
"but the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the
fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in - it was like digging a
dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway."
Based on the recovered bones, the paleontologists estimated that
Rhinorex - which translates roughly to King Nose - was about 30ft long
and weighed over 8,500 lbs.
It lived around 50 miles from what is now the Utah coast, in a swampy
environment, and is the only complete hadrosaur fossil from the site -
thus helping to fill in some gaps about habitation segregation during
the Late Cretaceous period.
Unlike other Cretaceous hadrosaurs, which are usually identified by
bony crests extending from their skull, Rhinorex instead possessed a
"The purpose of such a big nose is still a mystery," said Dr Gates.
- The Independent