Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said on Thursday that palaeontologists have identified a new dinosaur species after discovering its 72 million-year-old fossilized bones over a decade ago.
After 80 percent of its head was recovered, researchers were able to identify Tlatolophus galorum as a crested dinosaur, allowing them to compare it to other dinosaurs of that type.
The expedition, which includes experts from Mexico’s National Autonomous University, began in 2013 with the finding of an articulated tail in the north-central Mexican state of Coahuila, where further finds have been found.
“Once we recovered the tail, we continued digging below where it was located. The surprise was that we began to find bones such as the femur, the scapula and other elements,” said Alejandro Ramírez, a scientist involved in the discovery.
Later, the scientists were able to collect, clean and analyze other bone fragments from the front part of the dinosaur’s body.
The palaeontologists had the dinosaur’s crest, which was 1.32 meters long, as well as other portions of the skull: lower and upper jaws, palate, and even a section identified as the neurocranium, which contained the brains, according to INAH.
The Mexican anthropological committee also revealed the meaning of the new dinosaur’s name, Tlatolophus galorum.
Tlatolophus is a combination of two words: a noun from the indigenous Mexican language of Nahuatl that means “word” and a Greek term that means “crest.” INAH defined galorum as “those associated with the research.”