It may have been millions of years since they last roamed the Earth, but dinosaurs continue to make their presence known to this very day. Look no further than scientists' recent finding in Greenland. Here's how the latest dinosaur fossils are helping researchers better understand the mysterious species.
Nestled along a peninsula in Eastern Greenland, researchers recently made the puzzling discovery after 2 fossilized skulls were found among Jameson Land. But while remains of the extinct species have been found on several occasions before, these were like nothing scientists have ever seen before. And with good reason.
Dubbed Issi saaneq - or "cold one" in Greenlandic Inuit - the remains belong to a new species never found until now. "It is exciting to discover a close relative of the well-known Plateosaurus, hundreds of which have already been found here in Germany," co-author Oliver Wings from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, explained of the history-making discovery.
After closely studying the ancient remains, scientists believe the dinosaur was a medium-sized creature, belonging to the sauropodomorphs dinosaur group. Said to have roamed roughly 214 million years ago, the Issi saaneq also possessed several traits that left researchers scratching their heads. Why? As the study, published in the journal Diversity, revealed, several of the animal's characteristics were initially believed to be exclusive to dinosaurs found in Brazil. Clearly, there's lots more to be learned about the mysterious creatures.
"Our findings are the first evidence of a distinct Greenlandic dinosaur species, which not only adds to the diverse range of dinosaurs from the Late Triassic, but also allows us to better understand the evolutionary pathways and timeline of the iconic group of sauropods that inhabited the Earth for nearly 150 million years," the paleontologists proudly explained. The latest finding is another piece to the puzzle, though researchers still have a long way to go.
For more details about the latest discovery, check out the full Diversity study. And of course, be sure to check back in for further updates. This story is certainly far from over...