New dinosaur found in Montana This June 16, 2006 photo provided by the Canadian Museum of Nature shows the hillside excavation site where dinosaur bones belonging to Spiclypeus shipporum were unearthed, in Winifred, Mont. (Joe Small/Canadian Museum of Nature via AP/Martin Lipman)
New dinosaur found in Montana
Lexile

A novice fossil collector's lucky find in a remote Montana badlands more than 10 years ago has turned out to be a new kind of spectacularly horned dinosaur, researchers have announced.
 
The bones were unearthed near Winifred, Montana. They represent a previously unknown species of dinosaur. It lived 76 million years ago.
 
Its scientific name is Spiclypeus shipporum (spi-CLIP-ee-us ship-OR-um). It has been nicknamed "Judith." The name was taken from the Judith River rock formation. That is where it was found in 2005. It was found by retired nuclear physicist Bill Shipp.
 
Canadian Museum of Nature paleontologist Jordan Mallon says Judith is closely related to the well-known Triceratops. Both had horned faces and elaborate head frills. Judith's horns stick out sideway instead of over the eyes.
 
Like Triceratops, Judith was a plant-eater. Judith was approximately 15 feet long. It weighed up to four tons, Mallon said. That is about 8,000 pounds.
 
Shipp told The Associated Press that he stumbled across what turned out to be Judith's femur bone. The discovery was in 2005.
 
He had hired an amateur paleontologist to give him an introduction to fossil hunting on a ranch Shipp owned. The ranch is near the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. As Shipp worked his way around an eroded rocky outcropping on the property, he saw a piece of bone. It was sticking several inches out of the ground.
 
"I found it accidentally on purpose," Shipp said. "I was actually looking for dinosaur bones, but with no expectation of actually finding any."
 
After recovering six bones during an initial dig, Shipp brought in a team the next summer. The team spent two years excavating and cleaning the bones.
 
They ended up with half of Judith's skull and parts of its legs, hips and backbone. It wasn't until last year, after the bones were acquired by the Canadian Museum of Nature, that Mallon formally identified them as belonging to a new genus and species of dinosaur.
 
Judith was at least 10 years old when it died.
 
An examination of its bones was done by Edward Iuliano. He is a radiologist. He works at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. It is in Richland, Washington. The exam revealed evidence of a severe leg infection.  That would have left the animal hobbled. The injury made Judith potentially vulnerable to Tyrannosaurus rex-like predators. They lived around the same period, Mallon said.
 
"It's an exciting story, because it's a new species. And yet we have this sort of pathetic individual that suffered throughout its lifetime," Mallon said. "If you're hobbling along on three limbs, you're probably not going to be able to keep up with the herd."
 
Details on the find were published in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE.
 
A public exhibit featuring a reconstruction of Judith's skull and other bones from the find on Bill Shipp's ranch opens May 24. It will be at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The museum is in Ottawa.
 
Fewer than a dozen dinosaur species have been discovered in the Judith formation. This is despite more than a hundred years of exploration in the area, said John Scannella. He is manager of paleontology collections at the Museum of the Rockies. It is in Bozeman, Montana.
 
"This new animal provides another piece in the puzzle of our view of what the ecosystem of central Montana 76 million years ago was like," Scannella said. "It really is our first glimpse of a whole new animal that we weren't aware of. That's inherently cool."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is it unusual for a first-time fossil hunter to find a dinosaur?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (25)
  • jonathani-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:51 a.m.

    It is unusual because it is luck and some people when they go they might have bad luck.I also think that he found it on his first-time fossil hunt because he was knowing what he was doing.Or he just got lucky...
    If I found it I would have been AMAZED!!!!!



    Critical Thinking Question:Why is it unusual for a first-time fossil hunter to find a dinosaur?

  • cristiang-49900-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    It is unusual to find a dinoursour fossil at its first time because will need good-luck to find it. and some experience to find one of the dinousore fossils.third it will take teamwork and courage to get threw the faces of that adventure.fouth it will talk some faith to find the dinosaur fossil.

  • dalilac-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    It is unusual because they usually have to figure how to find them. Like where you usually can find them. Sometimes it is possible to find them if you have good luck. So I think it is unusual to find a dinosaur bone. Because if you can tell other people who find dinosaur bones it took them FOREVER to look for the bones.

  • jairj-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:55 a.m.

    It is unusual for a fossil hunter to find a dinosaur because they were around for a long time. They want to find different types of dinosaurs to put them in museums. They also want to learn about them like how big they were and what did they eat.

  • cristianl-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    Because people have herly discovered it is a unusual fin dinosor hunter can herly fin thay hire experts to fin them and descuver them

  • alexism-148507-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    It is unuasul because he found it in accidently.he tripped on it.he didn't find while he was hunting for it.he didn't see it before he tripped.

  • isaiahd-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    It is unusual becues they found bones from 74years ago. And they named it Judith becues of its bones. And they gravies so far they had to find som bones

  • lorenal-san
    5/25/2016 - 11:59 a.m.

    I think that the unusual thing about this dinosaur is that it had a horn in between it eyes. And it did at the age at of ten.

  • americaa-san
    5/25/2016 - 12:00 p.m.

    It's is unusual for a first time fossil hunter to find a dinosaur because all of the dinosaurs have gotten extinct.Also all types of dinosaurs are extinct.Finally hunters have found dinosaur bones a long time ago and it's unusual that a hunter finds dinosaur bones this time.The hunter must have known that their might be bones there so he went there and dug and found the dinosaur bones.

  • litzym-san
    5/25/2016 - 12:01 p.m.

    It is us usual maybe because they haven't find a dinosaur for years I think. And maybe because there were fewer than dozen dinosaurs. For example they couldn't find dinosaur. Or the fossil hunter has been looking for it.

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