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New dinosaur found: Nigersaurus

The first bones of Nigersaurus taqueti, named after the country where they were found and paleontologist Philippe Taquet, were discovered by the French in the 1950s.

Sereno named the species in 1999, shortly after his team recovered the skull. But, he said, it was not until they recently performed CT scans that they fully appreciated what they had found.

The wide mouth of the Nigersaurus taqueti was lined with as many as 500 tiny, sharp teeth that enabled the animal to trim large areas of vegetation like a power lawn mower, paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago said at a Thursday news conference sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

According to the New York Times, an article to be published in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) in late November 2007 will detail the unique anatomy of Nigersaurus.

The genus is reported to have had a relatively short neck with the head oriented towards the ground; it is thought to have been a ground-level browser like a modern cow.

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