New Dinosaur is a Missing Link

Paleontology is awesome. There is one Hell of a challenge in digging up the fossils of animals that have been dead for millions of years and trying to piece together their world and how they fit in the wonderful chain of events that we call life.

There has been a gap in the evolution of predatory dinosaurs that was until now unfilled. The remains of a new species were discovered in the famous (for paleontology nears) Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. The species has been labeled Daemonosaurus:

“Various features of the skull and neck in Daemonosaurus indicate that it was intermediate between the earliest known predatory dinosaurs from South America and more advanced theropod dinosaurs,” said Hans Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and lead author of the team’s findings. “One such feature is the presence of cavities on some of the neck vertebrae related to the structure of the respiratory system.”

How cool is that? Let me rephrase, how cool is that if you’re a paleontology nerd?