A “dwarf dinosaur” fossil has been found in Romania. It inhabited a prehistoric European island

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3 min readDec 3, 2022

Paleontologists have found the remains of a new species of dinosaur that lived about 70 million years ago on a prehistoric island. Scientists say it was small in size, supporting the claim that dinosaurs living on the islands were smaller than their mainland counterparts.

[Photo: Adolfo Beato from Pixabay]

The Cretaceous was the last period of the Mesozoic era. It ended about 66 million years ago with a mass extinction event, during which most plant and animal species, including non-bird dinosaurs, became extinct. It was also the time in the history of our planet when the greatest transgression of the sea in history began, and a large part of the land was flooded.

A new species of dwarf dinosaur has been found in Romania

It was in the Cretaceous that the intensive rock-forming movements that shaped the Alps and the first damming forms of the Tatra Mountains began. Europe, on the other hand, at that time more resembled an archipelago of many islands than the coherent continent we know today. Moreover, it had a tropical climate, reminiscent of today’s Philippines or Indonesia.

In the territory of Transylvania, the historical land of modern Romania, scientists found the remains of a new species of dinosaur. Paleontologists have named it Transylvanosaurus platycephalus, which means “flat-headed reptile from Transylvania.” Scientists say the animal was small in size and lived about 70 million years ago on one of Europe’s Cretaceous islands.

T. platycephalus belonged to the rhabdodons, a group of ornithopods that inhabited Europe and possibly Australia during the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers made an analysis based on skull bone fragments. They were able to determine that the creature was no more than 2 meters long. The latest research was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Dinosaurs living on the islands were smaller than their…

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