Bringing your kids to work has its benefits.
Seven-year-old Diego Suarez was playing outside with his sister while his parents, both geologists, studied rock formations in the Andes in southern Chile. As they were playing, Suarez uncovered a fossilized dinosaur bone, which turned out to belong to a previously unknown species.
Paleontologists called to the site eventually discovered bones from more than a dozen dinosaurs, including four near-complete skeletons, The Guardian reports. The scientists named the species Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, after its location and the boy who discovered it. Most of the Chilesaurus remains are from animals roughly the size of turkeys, though the species could reach almost 10 feet in length.
The Chilesaurus, which lived about 145 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, is an enigma among dinosaurs — it's a relative of the T-rex, a carnivorous species, but the Chilesaurus was a plant-eater. The Chilesaurus' anatomy is also odd, Phys.org reports, because its skull and feet are more typical of long-necked dinosaurs than of tyrannosaurs.
The new species could change the way scientists look at bird evolution, too — the Chilesaurus is part of the theropod group, the ancestors to birds. The Chilesaurus proves that some theropods adapted meat-free diets much earlier than was previously believed, Phys.org notes.