Discovered but forgotten since the 1990s were the fossilized remains of a duck billed dinosaur that now recently discovered sheds new surprises that scientists hadn’t realized. The fossils of the 30 foot long creature did make the news back in the 90s because its skin left impressions that allowed scientists to see what dinosaur skin looked like. Now the discovery has new appeal having been stored at the Brigham Young University in Utah for over 20 years.
Of note here is that after reconstructing the fossilized skull the scientists discovered they had a new species at hand. Scientists Rodney Sheetz and Terry Gates named the new species Rhinorex condrupus because it had a huge nose thus the nickname “King Nose”. Only speculation can tell what the animal used such a large nose for. Smell? Scientists don’t think dinosaurs had a great sense of smell. The scientists figure the animals used their large noses to attract mates or recognizing their own kind. It wasn’t easy to put this nosy business together as it took over 2 years for the researchers to excavate the skull where it was embedded in sandstone. Then meticulously the team had to put the skull to together in order to assess what species it was. To their surprise it took that long, 20 years to realize they had hit the jackpot and had discovered a new species, 75 million years old from the Late Cretaceous period.
The only complete hadrosaur example of a fossil every discovered at the Nelson rock formation, they speculate the dinosaur weighed in at around 8,500 pounds and lived in a swamp. The Cretaceous period is noted for having a warm climate with many eustatic sea level created inland seas. This was a time for great marine reptiles and other species to which the climate was eloquent to survival. Although a great place for duck billed dinosaurs like “King Nose” the late Cretaceous became known as the K-Pg boundary where mass extinction of such animals took place between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.