New Cat-Sized, Veggie-Eating Dinosaur Discovered By Paul Sereno

CHICAGO (CBS) — Dinosaur hunter Paul Sereno has uncovered a new species–a cat sized vegetarian with teeth like a dog.

The University of Chicago professor makes most of his dinosaur finds digging in the rock and sand of Africa, the United States and South America.

However, he found Pegomastax Africanus while digging through specimens stored in a library at Harvard.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports

Sereno told WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody, others have collected and examined the bones, but he was fortunate to recognize the fact that the bones represented a brand new species.

He says Pegomastax was chipped out of red rock in southern Africa in the 1960s.

Sereno says Pegomastax had a short parrot-shaped beak up front, a pair of stabbing canines, and tall teeth at the back of the jaw for slicing plants.

The parrot-shaped skull, less than three inches long, may have been adapted to eating fruit.

Some scientists argued that the canine teeth showed meat or insects were part of the diet for Pegomastax.

But Sereno says microscopic examination of the teeth suggested they were more for display and maybe defensive nipping, than actually cutting or tearing as would be expected from a carnivore.

He said they would have scampered around searching for veggies, looking like a two-legged porcupine.

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    […] (blog)New plant eating dinosaur with sharp teeth reportedExaminer.comFuturity: Research News -CBS2 Chicago -The Earth Timesall 12 news […]

  • Vitamin D Doesn't Prevent Colds; Obsession with Thinness Could be Genetic | News 47News 47

    […] This creepy dinosaur once roamed the Earth. University of Chicago professor Paul Sereno has confirmed that bones discovered by paleontologists in Africa in the 1960s belong to a previously unidentified species of heterodontosaur, the Pegomastax Africanus. Heterodontosaurs were smaller proto-dinosaurs that went extinct long before T. Rex burst on the scene. ;The remains in question have been a subject of debate for decades, but Sereno is the first to sufficiently ;differentiate ;the Pegomastax ;as a distinct species. The newly minted dinosaur was about the size of a cat, and despite its long, sharp canines, subsisted on a plant-based diet. “It was one of the first plant-eating dinosaurs,” Sereno tells Chicago radio station WBBM. ;The teeth came in handy during fights, but were not used to chew through flesh. ;[CBS Chicago] […]

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