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Paleontologists make big dinosaur discovery in Mississippi

July 31 , 2016

by Mary Grace Brantley

Paleontologists have discovered Mississippi's first horned dinosaur fossil in a creek bed in New Albany.

According to George Phillips, the Paleontology Curator at the Museum of Natural Science, paleontologists were searching for fossils of prehistoric crabs and mollusks, when they came across the tooth of a Ceratopsidae, or horned dinosaur. These dinosaurs were essentially unknown to eastern North America until a jawbone was discovered in North Carolina.

Phillips says the tooth is only the second of these fossils ever found east of the Mississippi River in North America.

This is a significant find because until recently, only five groups of dinosaurs were known to the Mississippi region. The finding of this tooth confirms the discovery of a sixth group of dinosaur that lived in the area.

"This is a significant discovery in respect to dinosaur biogeology," Phillips says.

The tooth is being sent to California to determine what type of horned dinosaur it's from. Phillips is planning to coauthor a publication with a California paleontologist on the discovery of the Ceratopsidae tooth.



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