Smithsonian Scientist Discovers New Dinosaur Species

March 14, 2016
Dr. Sues in the field

Dr. Hans Sues

Hans Sues, chair of the department of paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, has discovered a new dinosaur species, Timurlengia euotica, which was the size of a horse and lived about 90 million years ago. The finding fills in a 20 million-year gap in the fossil record and helps document the evolution of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The recent announcement of the discovery is the culmination of nearly two decades of research by Sues. He discovered Timurlengia’s fossils during fieldwork between 1997 and 2006 carried out in the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan, in partnership with the Russian Academy of Sciences. Sues is also part of the team at the museum developing Deep Time, the new initiative and exhibition slated to debut in a renovated Fossil Hall in 2019.

Timurlengia was a nimble pursuit hunter with slender, blade-like teeth suitable for slicing through meat,” Sues said. “It probably preyed on the various large plant-eaters, especially early duck-billed dinosaurs, which shared its world. Clues from the life of Timurlengia allow us to fill in gaps and better understand the life and evolution of other related dinosaurs, like T. rex.”

The Smithsonian's news announcement has additional information about the Timurlengia euotica and its discovery.

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