In the evolutionary history of the dinosaur, there is something of a gap. To give you an idea of the period in which this gap exists, you need only look at the two time periods in which dinosaurs are generally lumped in to: “early” and “later.” Somewhere between “early” and “later” is the gap that paleontologists have been unable to explain.
Daemonosaurus chauliodus, recently discovered in New Mexico, may be that missing link.
According to paleotologists, the Daemonosaurus existed around 205 million years ago. This would provide a minor gap between the 230 million year-old “early” period, and the 65 million year-old “later” period, which came to a rather abrupt end. This time frame could explain how it went extinct. While most dinosaurs were wiped out after an unfortunate incident with an asteroid, it’s hypothesized that these dinosaurs were unfortunate victims of the volcanic activity that accompanied the separation of the continents.
According to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Hans-Dieter Sues, this only shows that there are still many creatures we’ve yet to discover:
It just shows that even here in the United States, there are still many new dinosaurs to be found. People always think we have to go to some remote places, but, right here in northern New Mexico, we can still find new dinosaurs.
The way we build in the states, I think our amazement that we found something older than a Coca-Cola bottle is well warranted. Of course, I’m also a cynical bastard.