NEWS

Dinosaur discoveries in 2014 included huge titanosaur, 'micro' tyrannosaur

12/24/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 02/22/2015 05:59 EST
They came in all sorts of sizes, but on the whole, 2014 was a big year for dinosaurs.

From the massive titanosaur in Argentina to a small Arctic tyrannosaur, new species were announced frequently during what's been called the "golden age" of dinosaur discovery.

This year's discoveries included:

- Two huge titanosaurs from Argentina, possibly the biggest dinosaurs ever found. Scientists said one would have been as heavy as 14 African elephants and as long as 40 metres, surpassing the height of Rio de Janeiro's famous mountaintop Christ the Redeemer statue. The other was described as seven times the size of a T.rex and given the name Dreadnoughtus — "fearer of nothing."

- Spinosaurus, the first known semi-aquatic dinosaur. With relatively short limbs, a front-heavy build, flexible tail and flat hind feet that may have been webbed and used for paddling, Spinosaurus plunged into the waterways and enjoyed an all-you-can-eat buffet of sharks, car-sized fish and crocodilians.

- A (relatively) little Arctic tyrannosaur calledNanuqsaurus. The 24-hour darkness of winter would have made food scarce at that time of year, and Nanuqsaurus may have adapted with a smaller body size. 

- The first feathered plant-eating dinosaur. The Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus discovery raised the possibility that dinosaurs were downy, not scaly. 

- The oldest horned dinosaur in North America. Apart from its age of 110 million years, Aquilops is significant because it is more closely related to horned dinosaurs from Asia than others in North America, supporting the theory of intercontinental migration.

- Two new horned dinosaurs found in storage at a Canadian museum. The new Pentaceratops and Kosmoceratops had been sitting in Ottawa's Canadian Museum of Nature for more than 75 years.

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