New dinosaur discovered in a...museum!

Last updated at 08:20
A-Micro-CT-scan-of-the-skull-of-the-newly-discovered-dinosaur-named-Ngwevu-intloko.Kimberley Chapelle/Natural History Museum/PA Wire

A new dinosaur has been discovered in a museum in South Africa.

The new species has finally been identified after sitting in a collection there for three decades.

It's been named Ngwevu intloko - which means grey skull in the Xhosa language.

Experts think the dinosaur was an omnivore (meaning it ate both meat and plants) and would have been around three metres long from the tip of its snout to the end of its tail.

It would have walked on two legs, had a fairly chunky body with a long neck and small boxy head.

Professor Paul Barrett, a dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum, is part of a team that reassessed the specimen.

He said: "This is a new dinosaur that has been hiding in plain sight. The specimen has been in the collections in Johannesburg for about 30 years, and lots of other scientists have already looked at it. But they all thought that it was simply an odd example of Massospondylus."

Massospondylus was one of the first dinosaurs at the start of the Jurassic period.

The-skull-of-the-newly-discovered-dinosaur-named-Ngwevu-intloko.Kimberley Chapelle/Natural History Museum/PA Wire

PhD student Kimberley Chapelle said: "In order to be certain that a fossil belongs to a new species, it is crucial to rule out the possibility that it is a younger or older version of an already existing species.

"This is a difficult task to accomplish with fossils because it is rare to have a complete age series of fossils from a single species.

"Luckily, the most common South African dinosaur Massospondylus has specimens ranging from embryo to adult.

"Based on this, we were able to rule out age as a possible explanation for the differences we observed in the specimen now named Ngwevu intloko."

Scientists think the find will help them better understand the transition between the Triassic and Jurassic period, around 200 million years ago.

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