Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

A thunderous find

A new dinosaur discovery - aptly named "thunder thigh" in Greek - illustrates how scientific discoveries can be endangered by sheer carelessness.

The stegosaurus has its spikes. Triceratops, its horns. And the brontomerus - well, it has thighs that could kick a raptor into last week.

The newly discovered species described in this month's issue of Acta Palaeontologica Polonica is thought to have had massive rear capabilities, based on fragments of hipbones that hint at a slow step with large, muscled flanks. Pieced together by scientists in the UK, the new dinosaur - whose name aptly means "thunder thigh" in Greek - would have relied on strong kicks rather than quick getaways as a defence against predators. The fragments are an interesting find for paeleontologists, who are editing the timeline of when such dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Beyond its scientific impact, brontomeros mcintoshi is also a reminder that artefacts themselves are endangered. The bones were rescued from the Hotel Mesa Quarry, a site where fossil hunters rummage for finds in order to sell them. Various acts of vandalism or careless disregard - including using bones to hold down tents - were discovered by scientists.

Similar episodes of vandalism occurred weeks ago in Cairo, where priceless artefacts were looted from the national museum. Whether on the streets of Egypt or the quarries of Utah, ancient finds deserve respect. It doesn't say much about our future if we're so willing to ruin our past.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 Children walk past an Indian voter awareness mural in Mumbai ahead of the sixth phase of India’s national elections. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Inside India: Election, Promoting the Vote

A view of news and daily life on the Indian subcontinent for the week of April 10, 2014.

 INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit on April 16, 2014 in Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Map of seperatist movements around the world

The conflict in Ukraine is a classic example of competing aspirations and identities – here’s a look at seperatist movements around the world.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National