The skull of this holotype specimen, Gobihadros mongoliensis, was just slightly warped sideways from pressure and time, but it had all its parts, including teeth. Everything except the skull was attached together as it would have been in life. From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, the creature measured nearly three meters (10 ft) long, with all of its bones resting neatly in place.
According to Dr. Louis Jacobs, professor of paleontology and president of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University, it’s “pretty rare” to find a complete dinosaur. “But one of the places where you find them reasonably complete, reasonably commonly, is in the Gobi,” he said. Jacobs has worked with fossils from the Gobi Desert before, but was not involved with the discovery or description of Gobihadros.
The sands and rocks of the Gobi Desert, where Jacobs has studied dinosaurs, are famously teeming with fossil dinosaurs and early mammals. The iconic Velociraptor mongoliensis and the bizarre, humpback Deinocheirus called the arid Mongolian landscape home. Paleontologists discovered the first example of a dinosaur protecting her eggs when they found the fossil of an Oviraptor on her clutch in the Gobi desert.