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Nevada's first unique dinosaur discovery unveiled in Henderson

Meet 'Nevadadromeus schmitti'
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Posted at 10:59 PM, Sep 23, 2021

HENDERSON (KTNV) — A discovery 100-million years in the making is another first for the Silver State. On Thursday the folks at Nevada Science Center in downtown Henderson showed off a new dinosaur.

This dinosaur was originally discovered in 2008. Now, the Nevadadromeus schmitti has finally all been pieced together.

“I was very excited. Ever since I first heard about it for the first couple weeks,” said Jadon Davis, a dinosaur enthusiast from North Las Vegas. “I had been like, ‘Mom and dad—I got to go to this event.’”

A packed house at Lovelady Brewing welcomed the state’s first dinosaur species into the history books.

“And that’s just the starting point in our state,” he said. “There’s got to be more animals out there.”

This little two-legged, plant-eating dinosaur was discovered about an hour away in the Valley of Fire.

“So, in order to honor our state, the root is based on our state,” said Joshua Bonde, the director of research at the Nevada Science Center. “So, it’s Nevadadromeus. And the species name ‘schmitti’ is in honor of the legendary geologist who did the original work out in Valley of Fire.”

The other root, dromeus, means "runner." And this little guy kept itself hydrated in a radically different Southern Nevada.

“It was a lot wetter, more tropical, and you had dinosaurs roaming the landscapes where rivers were flowing through,” said Becky Hall, the executive director over at the Nevada Science Center.

And there is a second, larger Nevada dinosaur coming—of the duckbill variety. But that will have to wait another year or so. In the meantime, Nevadadromeus shows us that size is not everything.

“It’s still a fascinating discovery,” said Davis. “Whether an animal’s big or small, it’s still fascinating and it tells a story.”