Much of the fossil, first discovered by a local artist in 2004, was perfectly preserved in sandstone. However, it is missing its head, neck and tail.
Joseph Sertich of the University of Utah and Mark Loewen from the Utah Museum of Natural History have since then worked to free S. ruessi from its sandy grave – in an arid part of the US that, 185 million years ago, formed part of a huge desert.
“Although Seitaad was preserved in a sand dune, this ancient desert must have included wetter areas with enough plants to support these smaller dinosaurs and other animals,” said Mr Sertich.
“Just like in deserts today, life would have been difficult in Utah’s ancient ‘sand sea.'”