The year got off to a strong start with the announcement of several newly found dinosaur species, such as Dracoraptor hanigani ("Dragon Robber"), Eotrachodon orientalis ("Dawn Rough Tooth from the East"), and Spiclypeus shipporum ("Spiked Shield").
Dragon Robber, also nicknamed Draco, was found within the rocks of a cliff in south Wales. It is believed to be the earliest known Jurassic dinosaur from the U.K.
David Martill of the University of Portsmouth and his team wrote that "the remains of dinosaurs in Wales are exceedingly rare." Also rare was the dino's food, since Draco enjoyed sinking its teeth into raw flesh. Draco was small for a carnivorous dinosaur, measuring just over two feet tall and 6.5 feet wide.
Dawn Rough Tooth from the East is the most complete, primitive duck-billed dinosaur ever to be discovered in the eastern United States. Dating to 83 million years ago, this herbivorous dino had sturdy teeth that could grind up even the toughest of plant materials. Called "the cows of the Cretaceous" by researcher Gregory Erickson of Florida State University, these dinosaurs once lived in what is now Montgomery County, Alabama.
Spiked Shield, as its name suggests, sported a number of bony spikes, not to mention horns. It roamed what is now Montana between 85 and 66 million years ago. Paleontologists suspect that more new dinosaur species could be found in this part of western North America in future.