Tags: new | species | horned | dinosaur | older | triceratops

New Species of Horned Dinosaur Is Even Older Than Triceratops

By    |   Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 11:42 AM

A new species of horned dinosaurs first discovered in 2010 in southern Alberta – and just getting some  traction now – appears to be an older cousin of the Triceratops that lived about 79 million years ago.

To show that things haven't changed much in eons, researchers theorize that the horns were used to attract mates or allowed males to demonstrate their strength and fitness to females, said the Los Angeles Times.

 


Similar to the Triceratops, the Wendiceratops pinhornensis has its horns emerge from its face and head with a bony beak, which made it good for cutting up plants before chowing down on them, noted the Times. The findings on the Wendiceratops were published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday.

"Although the morphology of the nasal is incompletely known, Wendiceratops is inferred to have a large, upright nasal horn located close to the orbits, which represents the oldest occurrence of this feature in Ceratopsia," said the PLOS ONE study. "Given the phylogenetic position of the new taxon within Centrosaurinae, an enlarged nasal horn is hypothesized to have arisen independently at least twice in ceratopsid evolution."

The dinosaur gets its name from Canadian fossil hunter and professional photographer Wendy Sloboda, who found the first fossils of the horned creature in Alberta. The dinosaur appeared to be the size of a hippo with what David Evans, of the Royal Ontario Museum, called a "pretty spectacular array" of horns, said CBC News.

Since the Wendiceratops, which likely lived from 75 to 79 million years ago, is older than most of the horned dinosaurs now known, paleontologist hope the fossils could untangle some clues in how those types of dinosaurs evolved.

"This is one of the rare opportunities where you'll hear about the discovery in the news, and you can go right down to the museum and see it," Evans told CBC News.

Sloboda called getting a dinosaur named after her a "big honor" and went as far as getting it tattooed on her arm.

"I couldn't think of someone who deserves it more," said Evans. "She's basically a legend in Alberta. She's probably one of the best dinosaur hunters in the world."

 



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A new species of horned dinosaurs first discovered in 2010 in southern Alberta – and just getting some traction now – appears to be an older cousin of the Triceratops that lived about 79 million years ago.
new, species, horned, dinosaur, older, triceratops
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2015-42-09
Thursday, 09 Jul 2015 11:42 AM
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