New horned dinosaur unearthed in Utah

  • An artist’s version of the newly discovered horned dinosaur Nasutoceratops titusi discovered in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Photo credit: Lukas Panzann
  • A skull reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Nasutoceratops titusi. Photo credit: Rob Gaston
  • This drawing shows the oversized nose and exceptionally long, curving, forward-oriented horns over the eyes. Photo credit: Sammantha Zimmerman
Date:7 August 2013 Tags:, , ,

A remarkable new horned dinosaur called, Nasutoceratops titusi, has been discovered in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah.

Horned dinosaurs, or “ceratopsids”, were a group of big-bodied, four-footed herbivores that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. As epitomised by Triceratops, most members of this group have huge skulls bearing a single horn over the nose, one horn over each eye, and an elongate, bony frill at the rear.

The newly discovered species, Nasutoceratops titusi, possesses several unique features, including an oversized nose relative to other members of the family, and exceptionally long, curving, forward-oriented horns over the eyes. The bony frill, rather than possessing elaborate ornamentations such as hooks or spikes, is relatively unadorned, with a simple, scalloped margin.

The 15-metre long plant eaters lived in a swampy, subtropical setting on the “island continent” of western North America, also known as “Laramidia”.

Nasutoceratops appears to belong to a previously unrecognised group of horned dinosaurs that lived on Laramidia, and provides strong evidence supporting the idea that distinct northern and southern dinosaur communities lived on this landmass for over a million years during the Late Cretaceous.

The new discovery was announced in the British scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Source: University of Utah


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