Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Utah Geological Survey in Salt Lake City discovered and classified the skeletons of two new species of dinosaurs. Dated to the Early Cretaceous Epoch (approximately 145.5 to 99.6 million years ago), both are beaked herbivorous dinosaurs classified as iguanodonts. The two skeletons were found at different sites in Utah, one near Green River and the other near Arches National Park.
The first new species of dinosaur is hippodraco scutodens. The first part of the name means “horse dragon,” and the second “shield tooth.” The scientists chose the name because the shape of the skull resembles that of a horse and its tooth crowns look much like oblong shields. The dinosaur also has a shelf of bone extending along the lower jaw parallel to its teeth, something not found in other iguanodonts. Paleontologists recovered nearly the entire skeleton, including the skull, vertebrae, and limbs, although many of the bones were crushed. It is estimated at 15 feet long, although scientists do not think the dinosaur was fully grown when it died, so adult hippodraco dinosaurs may have been larger. The dinosaur discovered in Utah is believed to be approximately 125 million years old.