Archaeology

Denver Scientist Discovers new Dahalokely Tokana Dinosaur



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While many in the world crave the latest that the technology world has to offer, there is still a tremendous fascination with history and the unknown. While museums house wonderful displays of things long since departed from the Earth, they are located in a sterile environment, away from the actual locations in which they existed. Perhaps that is why creatures like the dinosaur are so interesting to the world today.

Dinosaurs were among the first things to roam the Earth before the planet was transformed during the Ice Age, leading these creatures to extinction. Now, these animals are but legends that folks can read about in books, or visit a display in the Smithsonian. Still, the world thirsts for learning more about these great beasts, so that is why it is exciting when news of a new dinosaur species is discovered.

Joseph Sertich, whom some might call a dinosaur geek, was lucky enough to make a discovery of a new species, beginning back in 2007. Sertich is the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, making it easy to discover why he has such a love of these mysterious creatures. This discovery of a new species was made in Madagascar and was discovered on a cliff. The fact that it was found there tells an interesting story of how much the Earth has changed through time.

Now, when someone sees new discovery and 2007, the bell does not instantly ring. If Sertich made this discovery starting in 2007, why did he not declare it then? Well, it turns out that the two things first recovered were a vertebrae and ribs, which are said to be something distinct within each dinosaur. Thus, the painstaking process of examining the bones and comparing them to other species had to be done. When it was done, a new dinosaur species was born, by the name of Dahalokely tokana!

It was a fascinating discovery for Sertich, who put it into context in a quote, in the Denver Post. "This dinosaur was closely related to other famous dinosaurs from the southern continents, like the horned Carnotaurus from Argentina and Majungasaurus, also from Madagascar. This just reinforces the importance of exploring new areas around the world where undiscovered dinosaur species are still waiting."

With this discovery, Sertich not only discovered a new species, but helped to fill in a timeline that was missing some pieces. Scientists had not been able to find any dinosaur remains from between 165 and 70 million years ago. With this find, that space was shrunken by 20 million years, thanks to a 9 to 14 feet long creature who name happens to mean lonely small bandit.

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