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Dinosaur Discoveries in the United States: Oldest and Most Recent

Updated on April 8, 2018
angela_michelle profile image

Angela loves history and feels it is essential to our future to know the past or else be destined to repeat it.

A Megaraptor fossil that has been found.
A Megaraptor fossil that has been found. | Source

What Caused the Extinction of the Dinosaur?

Dinosaurs are probably the most infamous extinct animals because many many were taller than the giraffe, heavier than the elephant, and walked on two legs. At one time, there were thousands of dinosaurs that roamed the earth, much like we do. Unfortunately, there is much about their disappearance that is unknown. One of the most popular beliefs, is that a meteor caused their extinction. Fortunately for us, they left their fingerprints behind in the form of fossils that allow us to study them today. Everyday there are new dinosaur discoveries. Two of the newest dinosaur discoveries were uncovered recently within the United States: the Kosmoceratops and Utahceratops.

Barnum Brown

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Barnum Brown was part of the Second Dinosaur Rush. This is a skull of a Stegoceras that Barnum Brown found.
Barnum Brown was part of the Second Dinosaur Rush.
Barnum Brown was part of the Second Dinosaur Rush. | Source
This is a skull of a Stegoceras that Barnum Brown found.
This is a skull of a Stegoceras that Barnum Brown found. | Source

A Great Dinosaur Rush in America

Many of these discoveries would not have taken place if it was not for two great dinosaur rushes in America. One began in Colorado and continued in Wyoming during the late 1870's. It was started by two elite paleontologists at Yale University: Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh.

They first discovered a great mass of dinosaur bones in the Garden Park area of Colorado. Shortly after, they discovered more in Como Bluff, Wyoming. This began a mad search for dinosaur bones, specifically in the North American region. Although these men began as friends, the rush caused feuds between them. They later became great rivals due to the intense search for dinosaur bones. This proved great scientifically, since it led to many discoveries, but not for the relationship of the old friends.

A second Dinosaur Rush began in the Red Deer River, which is located in southern Alberta, Canada around the early nineteen hundreds. Although the first dinosaur in this area was discovered in 1884, it took 30 years before the rush truly began. This rush also caused a feud to begin. Fortunately, this was a much friendlier and healthier competition that served to further the discoveries of dinosaurs. It was between two great paleontologists: Barnum Brown, who worked for the American Museum of Natural History in New York and C.H. Sternberg, who worked for the Geological Survey of Canada.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the skeletal remains of the Hadrosaurus foulkii that was first found in America. This is the dinosaur digging site where the Hadrosaurus foulkii was found. These are actual bones from the Hadrosaurus's vertebrae.
This is the skeletal remains of the Hadrosaurus foulkii that was first found in America.
This is the skeletal remains of the Hadrosaurus foulkii that was first found in America. | Source
This is the dinosaur digging site where the Hadrosaurus foulkii was found.
This is the dinosaur digging site where the Hadrosaurus foulkii was found. | Source
These are actual bones from the Hadrosaurus's vertebrae.
These are actual bones from the Hadrosaurus's vertebrae. | Source

First Dinosaur Discovery: Hadrosaurus Foulkii

The term dinosaur, or at least dinosaurios, was first coined in 1842. It was not until many years later, in the early to mid nineteen hundreds, that people began to understand what dinosaurs really looked like. These discoveries were first made in North America.

The first fully-formed dinosaur specimen was found in Haddonfield, New Jersey. They named this dinosaur the Hadrosaurus foulkii. It was discovered by William Parker Foulke as he was vacationing in the town. He ended up hiring a crew to dig out this creature. It is described as being bigger than an elephant with lizard and birdlike features.

The Hadrosaurus stood on only two legs with very short arms. Before this time, it was believed that all reptiles walked on all fours, not bipedal; therefore, this was a significant discovery. The Hadrosaurus foulkii was first put on display in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, in 1868. For many years, this was the only dinosaur on display, although they crated many casts that they spread out to other museums.

Kosmoceratops

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here are actual bones found from the Kosmoceratops. This is the skull reconstruction of the Kosmoceratops. This is what the Kosmoceratops most likely looked like.
Here are actual bones found from the Kosmoceratops.
Here are actual bones found from the Kosmoceratops. | Source
This is the skull reconstruction of the Kosmoceratops.
This is the skull reconstruction of the Kosmoceratops. | Source
This is what the Kosmoceratops most likely looked like.
This is what the Kosmoceratops most likely looked like. | Source

Kosmoceratops richardsoni: Dinosaur Discover in the Twenty First Century

Although that was the first, more recently, on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, a new discovery was found in Salt Lake City, Utah. They found two dinosaurs. Neither matched a previously classified species of dinosaur, although both are closely related to the Triceratops. Because they each had very unique differences, they were determined not to be a Triceratops.

Both were uncovered at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which has been a hot spot for many new discoveries of dinosaurs in the past decade. It is now a very rocky terrain, but it is believed by secular scientists that several million years ago when dinosaurs were believed to have roamed the earth, it was very swampy. Like the Triceratops, they are counted as one of the ceratopsids, which means they are four legged herbivores.

One of these two discoveries was the Kosmoceratops richardsoni, which is probably the most ornate dinosaur that has ever been uncovered. It has fifteen horns on its head. Ten of these horns form a frill much like that of a Triceratops. Their horns point downward and out. The Kosmoceratops is believed to weigh about 2.5 tons and be 15 feet long. Their horns range from six inches to a foot long.

The other discovery was the Utahceratops gettyi. It only has five horns on its head, one horn that sticks straight up from the nose, and two more near the eyes that stick out like a bison's horn. The Utahceratops is slightly larger than the Kosmoceratops. Its head was about seven feet long and stood about six feet tall. The body was nearly 18 to 22 feet long, and is believed to have weighed around 3 to 4 tons. The horns are about the same length as its cousin's, the Kosmoceratops.

They believe that the horns on these dinosaurs were similar to the antlers on deer. They are believed to have been used to attract sexual mates and intimidate competitors. They believe this, because the horns would have made very poor weapons. If paleontologists are correct about the horns' purpose, then the horns probably did not begin to develop until around puberty, to show that they were mature enough to mate.

Fortunately for us, these are not the only dinosaurs that have been uncovered in America or across the world. Dinosaurs range from as small as a mouse to much bigger than any land animal today. Some believe that they roamed the Earth millions of years ago, although there are some record of Dinosaur-like creatures in historical texts, which causes the question to arise, when did they truly became extinct.

Amazing Horned Dinosaurs Discovered

Citations

  • "Early Dinosaur Discoveriesin North America." Early Dinosaur Discoveries in North America. Accessed April 09, 2010. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/dinodiscoveriesna.html.
  • "Two New Horned Dinosaurs Found in Utah." National Geographic. May 03, 2016. Accessed April 09, 2016. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100922-new-species-dinosaurs-horned-utah-fossils-science/.

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

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    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      5 years ago from United States

      will do!

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 

      5 years ago

      Hi angela you can call me Sam. If you are interested in dinosaurs, paleontology, reptiles, and herpetology check out my hubpage.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      I will, thanks so much for the encouragement Pearldiver!!! :)

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Excellent hub, thanks for this as I had always wondered where in the States they had found the species that you mentioned here. I found many arrowheads when I was in the US and had a day digging around, looking for Columbus! My best find though was in NZ when I found an old fossil and married her - before I realized that those horns were real and.. well.. as you said in this hub.. it was thought that they were used in mating! Phew... I was lucky! I escaped and thought fishing might be safer! You have a great Christmas and come back and share your talents again next year.. Take Care.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      I think you had said that before. I find your ex husband's job fascinating. I wish I could do something like that.

    • profile image

      Garnetbird 

      7 years ago

      Nice Hub/well researched. My ex husband uncovered a wholly Mammoth in Holmes Co., Ohio about 15 years ago. It's wonderful to find these creatures.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Interesting. That's actually really cool. :) Thanks for sharing!

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 

      7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      COCKROACHES....EEEwwwww..I DO NOt want to do a hub. but here is part of a lesson plan from Discovery education:

      Procedures

      1. Begin the lesson by asking students if they know of any animals that have been living on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. Once you’ve discussed several examples, write the following animals on the board:

      Coelacanths (a prehistoric fish, pronounced SEE luh canth)

      Crocodiles

      Horseshoe crabs

      Cockroaches

      2. Discuss with students how long ago each of these animals first appeared. The coelacanth lived 410 million years ago; cockroach, 350 million years ago; horseshoe crab, 250 million years ago; and crocodile, 200 million years ago. Point out that these animals lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, yet unlike the dinosaurs, they have survived. Tell students that scientists are still debating why these animals have survived .

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      LOL, I giggled at your corny joke. I totally dug that joke. ;) I am curious about the cockroach, maybe there's a hub hidden somewhere in there. :) I wonder how we could find out if it is a human bone?

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      7 years ago from home

      AM,

      greaat job as a geologist/paleontologist type i really "dug" this hub yes a descendant of the cockroach was around then it was bigger cuz it was in Texas - just kidding- depending on where you live and where she found it it may have been a human bone-- eeewwww

      good luck with the bone...

      great hub

      Th

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Really? I did not know that. Interesting!

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 

      7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Too bad the cockroaches are only something that used to be. I've been told that cockroaches have been around since the dinos.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Mentalist acer, That is actually a hilarious thought. Although would we be the ones they are hunting or fishing. LOL or would we be hunting them?

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Dahoglund, that is so cool. My daughter found a fossil, it looked like an ankle bone. I almost wondered if it was human. It was very old though. I find fossils, and especially dinosaur fossils very fascinating!

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      DRBJ LOL, that is so true. :) I find dinosaurs so incredibly fascinating. I wonder if dinosaurs were shy creatures or aggressive or what? There's so much we will never know about them.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      If the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs hadn't occurred,we likly would'nt be here,but if we did,the local hunting and fishing show would definitely have higher ratings angela_michelle,Lol;)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Prehistory should be better understood than it is.When I was young aneighbor pointed out fossils in our won backyards due to an ancient glacier that pushed things to where we lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Today we are scared by swine flu, mad cow disease and avian-borne viruses. But these threats seem insignificant when compared to the threat of going outside our cave dwelling in prehistoric times and being attacked by a many-horned creature weighing three or four tons.

      Thanks for the dinosaur update, a_m.

    • angela_michelle profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much!

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 

      7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Very interesting.

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