Dwarf Dinosaur Fossils Found in Germany

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Dwarf Dinosaur Fossils Found in Germany

... Quote:
NEW YORK - Dwarf dinosaurs? It sounds like the old George Carlin joke about jumbo shrimp: two words that just don't go together.

But fossils from northern Germany have revealed a dinosaur that evolved into a dwarf, ending up only about one-third the size of its closest known relatives, scientists report.

The four-legged plant-eater was no lap dog: It measured about 20 feet from its snout to the tip of its long tail and it weighed about a ton.

But next to its close evolutionary cousin Camarasaurus, a well-known beast that stretched some 59 feet long, this guy was a runt.

What happened? The researchers say it's a case of island dwarfism, the tendency of big species to shrink over time when they find themselves on an island. It's well-known among mammals, as with fossil elephants only about 3 feet tall found in Sicily and elsewhere.

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Dwarf dinosaurs fossils were found in Germany. They measured 20 feet compared to their closest relative, the Camaarasaurus which measures up to 59 feet. The researchers say these dinosaurs probably got stuck on the island and shrank down over long periods of time.

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By YCON: posted on 8-6-2006

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