Dwarf Dinos Island Hopped to Europe
'Mini-Triceratops' upends old theories
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2010 4:17 AM CDT
The newly discovered species, Ajkaceratops kozmai, was only about 12% of the size of its relative Triceratops.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Dwarf dinosaurs may have made their way from island to island in the days when Europe was just a series of iles dotted in the prehistoric Tethys Ocean, according to scientists puzzling over bones found in a Hungarian coal mine. The bones belong to a small horned dinosaur from the same family as Triceratops, a type of dinosaur scientists had previously believed was only found in Asia and North America.

The limited resources on islands means the species likely shrank over the millennia like other island species, dinosaur expert Richard Butler tells the BBC, noting that dwarf elephants were once found on Mediterranean islands. For the dino to have moved from island to island, he says, either the species was an exceptionally good swimmer or the Tethys Ocean must have at some point been so low that dinosaurs could walk along the sea floor.

 

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