'Beach Bum' Dino Chilled in Mex

New find reveals crested duckbill hunted by cousin of T. rex
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 12:08 PM CST
Velafrons coahuilensis is pictured in this artist's rendering. The crested, duck-billed dinosaur "was probably a beach bum," said paleontologist Terry Gates of the Utah Museum of Natural History and University...   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – A newly discovered duck-billed dinosaur lived on a "very Mediterranean-like" Mexican beach 72 million years ago, paleontologists say. A fossilized skeleton of Velafrons coahuilensis was found in the north-central state of Coahuila—the most complete dinosaur ever found in Mexico, Reuters reports. "Velafrons was probably a beach bum," says one paleontologist. The dino would have been about 30 feet long.

The duckbill's prolonged Cretaceous Period spring break would have had disadvantages, though. "You've got to worry about the tyrannosaurs out there," says an expert. Like many other duckbills, Velafrons had a large crest on its head. "By lengthening its nasal passage, it allowed it to do all sorts of crazy things. It's totally odd and freakish," one scientist said.