Dinosaur species discovered among fossils stored at Canadian museum for decades

A researcher from England has discovered two new dinosaur species after studying fossils that have been sitting in a Canadian museum for more than 75 years.

Dr. Nick Longrich, University of Bath lecturer, studied fossilized bones of 2 horned dinosaurs

The University of Bath posted this picture on its Facebook page of the Pentaceratops aquilonius, which is a new species of dinosaur discovered by Dr. Nick Longrich. (University of Bath/Facebook)

A researcher from England discovered two new dinosaur species after studying fossils that were sitting in a Canadian museum for more than 75 years.

Dr. Nick Longrich, a senior lecturer at the University of Bath, identified a new species of Pentaceratops and of Kosmoceratops. The first species will be known as Pentaceratops aquilonius; the second is yet to be named.

"We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left," he told the university. "There are lots of species out there. We've really only just scratched the surface."

Longrich made the discovery while studying the fossilized bones of two horned dinosaurs, which were previously held in a Canadian museum for more than 75 years. They were believed to be fossils of an Anchiceratops and Chasmosaurus species.

When Longrich studied them, he thought they were more like dinosaurs from the American Southwest than two Canadian species they were identified as.

He found one to be a more primitive species of New Mexico's Pentaceratops sternbergii. Longrich believes the second to be related to Utah's Kosmoceratops, but it won't be certain until more complete fossils are studied.

The findings are published in Cretaceous Research.

2009 dinosaur discovery

This is neither Longrich's first dinosaur discovery nor the first time he's put some fossils in storage to good use.

Dr. Nick Longrich studies 'the fossil record to understand major evolutionary transitions,' according to his University of Bath profile. (University of Bath)
In 2009, while working at the University of Calgary, Longrich and a team of researchers discovered a miniature meat-eating dinosaur: the Hesperonychus elizabethae.

In 2008, he came across bones held in storage at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta., from a dig six years earlier. The fossil ended up being a Albertonykus borealis, the smallest such species ever discovered in North America.

At that time, Longrich said there are more discoveries to be made in a similar way — from bones already dug up and stored in the province.

"The more you look, the more you start finding unusual things," he said.