A research team led by Cornell University researchers has discovered a nearly-mummified dinosaur skeleton in southern California that looks like it could be that of a newly discovered species.
The skeleton, which dates back to about 250 million years ago, was found near the city of Capella, in a remote part of the state.
The fossils were discovered in 2014 by the university’s Natural History Museum.
The fossilized dinosaur had been lying in a shallow grave for nearly a million year, said study co-author David K. Wiens, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell.
Wilsons team was able to determine the fossilized creature’s age based on the presence of a distinctive pattern on the animal’s skull.
The pattern was made of two lines of small spikes, or bumps, and a ridge in the middle.
The researchers believe the dinosaur’s skull was probably shaped for a walking or running posture.
The creature’s skeleton was also missing a vertebrae.
“We think the animal was an antelope, which is the same kind of animal that we find in southern Africa,” Wiens said.
“It’s a bit like the antelope with the horns.
But, unlike that antelope that we found, the dinosaur was probably a huge carnivore.”
The researchers found the fossil after digging a well that had been buried for millions of years.
They dug out the skeleton and were able to extract teeth and other bone fragments.
The bones were later sent to the Cornell Natural History Laboratory, which plans to analyze the fossils for clues about how the dinosaur might have lived.
The research team plans to publish its findings online in a forthcoming issue of the journal Science.