Voluminous evidence has come forward of early Cretaceous and even late Jurassic ceratopsian precursors, a notable example of which is Liaoceratops. This would mean that the genus dates to 75 million years ago, about 5 million years before better-known ceratopsians in this family like Triceratops, Chasmosaurus, and Centrosaurus. As a result of their bizarre head ornamentation, the skulls of ceratopsians tend to preserve better in the fossil record than the rest of their skeletons. Liaoceratops (Greek for "Liao horned face"); pronounced LEE-ow-SEH-rah-tops, Early Cretaceous (130-125 million years ago), Small size; small frill on head; possible bipedal posture. Numerous bones of this horned dinosaur have been unearthed in Montana's Two Medicine Formation, but it's still not clear if this ceratopsian merits its own genus. (Ceratopsians arose in eastern Eurasia in the early Cretaceous period, but only evolved to massive sizes once they had reached North America.) The name Achelousaurus (pronounced with a hard "k," not like a sneeze) merits some explanation. Most of the ceratopsians ("horned faces") of the late Cretaceous period were gigantic, multi-ton earth-shakers like Triceratops, but millions of years earlier, in the eastern regions of Asia, these dinosaurs were much more petite. Centrosaurus is the classic example of what paleontologists refer to as "centrosaurine" ceratopsians, that is, plant-eating dinosaurs possessing large nasal horns and relatively short frills. Although it's by far the best known, Triceratops was far from the only ceratopsian (horned, frilled dinosaur) of the Mesozoic Era. The name Triceratops, which literally … After examining an unusually large Pentaceratops noggin on display at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Yale's Nicholas Longrich determined that this fossil should actually be attributed to a brand-new ceratopsian genus, Titanoceratops. Anatomically, this dinosaur shared some characteristics with the much smaller, "basal" ceratopsians that preceded it by millions of years (the most notable example being Psittacosaurus), but it was much bigger than these early plant-eaters, full-grown adults possibly weighing as much as a ton. Titanoceratops The biggest of all the horned, frilled dinosaurs. One proposed identity for this dinosaur is Microceratus, as it is also small, bipedal, and seems to have a small, frill-like structure on its head. Because there's a lot paleontologists don't know about the growth stages of ceratopsians, it may yet turn out that Avaceratops was a species of an existing genus; as things stand, it seems to have occupied an intermediate evolutionary stage between the better-known Centrosaurus and Triceratops. Fact Sheet: Major Points of the Paper (1) Two remarkable new horned dinosaurs, Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops, have been discovered in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah. In fact, according to a recent study, Torosaurus may well have been the same dinosaur as Triceratops, since the frills of ceratopsians continued to grow as they aged. The 200-plus fossils are believed to have belonged to four specimens of Wendiceratops pinhornensis--three adults and one young dino. Dating to the early Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago, Auroraceratops resembled a larger version of small, "basal" ceratopsians like Psittacosaurus and Archaeoceratops, with a minimal frill and the barest beginnings of a nasal horn. (By the way, for over a decade the type fossil of Aquilops was identified as Zephyrosaurus, a non-ceratopsian ornithopod, until a re-examination of the remains prompted this new assessment. Reconstructions of Vagaceratops have also been used in simulations of ceratopsian posture, as experts try to figure out whether these dinosaurs' legs were slightly splayed (like those of lizards) or more "locked in" and upright. Yinlong (Chinese for "hidden dragon"); pronounced YIN-long, Late Jurassic (160-155 million years ago), The name Yinlong ("hidden dragon") is something of an inside joke: the fossils of this dinosaur were found in the part of China where the epic movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed. A few years later, another naturalist, Charles M. Sternberg, reexamined the bones and erected the new genus Montanoceratops. This "five-horned face" really had only three horns, and the third horn (on the end of its snout) wasn't much to write home about. Regaliceratops (Greek for "regal horned face"); pronounced REE-gah-lih-SEH-rah-tops, Large head with ornate, crown-shaped frill. Vagaceratops (Greek for "wandering horned face"); pronounced VAY-gah-SEH-rah-tops. ", ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. This … Two new horned dinosaurs have been named based on fossils collected from Alberta, Canada. Shringasaurus is known from the Denwa Formation in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Habitat: … in fact, more ceratopsians have been discovered in North America over the past 20 years than any other type of dinosaur. Today, many paleontologists believe that the identified fossil specimens of Monoclonius should be assigned to Centrosaurus, which had a strikingly similar head equipped with one big horn on the end of its snout. For most people this is‭ ‘‬the‭’ ‬ceratopsian dinosaur of choice,‭ ‬and the one that is by far … A new species of horned dinosaur unearthed in Mexico has larger horns that any other species – up to 4 feet long – and has given scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to a research team led by paleontologists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. This 20-foot-long, three-ton herbivore lived a few million years before Triceratops, and it was closely related to three other ceratopsians, Styracosaurus, Coronosaurus, and Spinops. Unfortunately, pending additional fossil discoveries, there's not much else we can say about Albalophosaurus or its exact relationship to the early ceratopsians of the Asian mainland. Mojoceratops' claim to fame is that its frill was even more elaborate than that of its closest relative, Centrosaurus: a tall, wide, bone-supported sail of skin that probably changed color with the seasons. Most ceratopsians, or horned, frilled dinosaurs, are represented in the fossil record by truly massive skulls; for example, Triceratops had one of the biggest heads of any land animal that ever lived. How did Leptoceratops manage to be such a throwback to the distant progenitors of the ceratopsian family, tiny, dog-sized creatures like Psittacosaurus and Archaeoceratops that lived millions of years earlier? In its considerable size, however—about 20 feet from head to tail and one ton—Auroraceratops anticipated the larger, "classic" ceratopsians of the late Cretaceous period like Triceratops and Styracosaurus. The "toro" in this case means "perforated" or "pierced," referring to the large holes in this herbivore's skull, beneath its enormous frill. 10 Dinosaurs That Never Made it Out of the 19th Century. ), Archaeoceratops (Greek for "ancient horned face"); pronounced AR-kay-oh-SEH-rah-tops, Early Cretaceous (125-115 million years ago), Small size; relatively large head with small frill. If Triceratops means "three-horned face" and Pentaceratops means "five-horned face," a better name for Centrosaurus might have been Monoceratops (one-horned face). It's more likely that early ceratopsians would have evolved wide tails as either a sexually selected characteristic (that is, males with bigger tails got to mate with more females) or as a way to dissipate or collect heat, so the aquatic hypothesis will have to remain just that pending further evidence. Discovered on the Korean peninsula, Koreaceratops has been described by some paleontologists as the world's first identified swimming dinosaur. Ojoceratops, however, seems to have lived a few million years before Triceratops, which is probably the only thing that will keep it in the official dinosaur record books. Chaoyangsaurus is one of the earliest ceratopsians yet known, predating the previous record-holder, Psittacosaurus, by tens of millions of years (and just about tied with its fellow Asian horned face, Yinlong). Ajkaceratops (Greek for "Ajka horned face"); pronounced EYE-kah-SEH-rah-tops. This three-foot-long herbivore looks more like an ornithopod and is only identified as a ceratopsian thanks to the unique structure of its beak. Most experts believe this dinosaur was actually a juvenile of a similar ceratopsian of late Cretaceous Mongolia, Bagaceratops, and it may even conceivably have been a species of Protoceratops. As a general rule, the dinosaurs of late Cretaceous North America, especially hadrosaurs and tyrannosaurs, had (often larger) counterparts in eastern Asia. Scientists have found a "new" horned dinosaur that lived about 79 million years ago — and they say the discovery helps them understand the early evolution of the family that includes Triceratops. The scattered remains of this ceratopsian were actually unearthed way back in 1958 and then consigned to a dusty museum drawer for over half a century. Notably, almost identical specimens of this dinosaur were recently discovered on either side of the U.S./Canada border, straddling northern Montana and southern Alberta Province (hence this ceratopsian's species name, M. gemini). Avaceratops (Greek for "Ava's horned face"); pronounced AY-vah-SEH-rah-tops, Late Cretaceous (80-70 million years ago), Short, thick frill; large head with powerful jaws. Over the past couple of decades, paleontologists have discovered a bewildering array of "basal" ceratopsians (horned, frilled dinosaurs) in central and eastern Asia, small, possibly bipedal herbivores that were directly ancestral to huge, lumbering beasts like Triceratops and Pentaceratops. Among the latest to join the ranks is Bravoceratops, which was announced to the world in 2013 as a "chasmosaurine" ceratopsian closely related to Coahuilaceratops (and, of course, to the eponymous member of this breed, Chasmosaurus). Arrhinoceratops (Greek for "no-nose horned face"); pronounced AY-rye-no-SEH-rah-tops, Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago). Zuniceratops (Greek for "Zuni horned face"); pronounced ZOO-nee-SER-ah-tops, Small size; medium-sized frill; short horns over eyes. The important thing about Montanoceratops is that it was a relatively small, "primitive" ceratopsian that shared its habitat with more advanced forms like Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus. To judge by its underlying skeletal structure, Mojoceratops' frill was probably heart-shaped, which was fitting in that males used their frills to broadcast sexual availability (or desire) to the females of the herd. Chaoyangsaurus (Greek for "Chaoyang lizard"); pronounced CHOW-yang-SORE-us, Middle-Late Jurassic (170-145 million years ago), Small size; bipedal posture; horned snout. Gryphoceratops, which measured a bare two feet from head to tail, didn't boast any of the elaborate ornamentations of its larger, more famous cousins. The oddest thing about this dinosaur, though, is that it may have walked occasionally on two legs, like the smaller ceratopsians that preceded it by millions of years. On the other hand, the frill of Nasutoceratops was nothing special, lacking the elaborate notches, ridges, fringes, and decorations of other ceratopsians. However it winds up being classified, Rubeosaurus was a distinctive-looking ceratopsian of late Cretaceous North America, with its long nose horn and (especially) the two long, converging spikes set atop its voluminous frill. Tiny, cat-sized members of the breed (like Psittacosaurus) originated over 100 million years ago in Asia, during the early to middle Cretaceous period, and grew to Triceratops-like sizes by the time they reached North America in the late Cretaceous. Montanoceratops (Greek for "Montana horned face"); pronounced mon-TAN-oh-SEH-rah-tops. This isn't merely a matter of Titanoceratops being slightly different from Pentaceratops; what Longrich is claiming is that his new dinosaur was actually more closely related to Triceratops, and was one of the earliest "triceratopsine" ceratopsians. Albalophosaurus (Greek for "white-crested lizard"); pronounced AL-bah-LOW-foe-SORE-us, Early Cretaceous (140-130 million years ago), Small size; bipedal posture; thickened skull. 10 Facts About Styracosaurus. Based on what has been pieced together so far, Brachyceratops appears to have been a fairly typical ceratopsian, with the massive, horned and frilled face characteristic of the breed. Gobiceratops (Greek for "Gobi horned face"); pronounced GO-bee-SEH-rah-tops. (2) With 15 bony horns or horn-like features on its skull, Kosmoceratops is the most ornate-headed dinosaur known. Zuniceratops certainly looked like the predecessor of the mighty ceratopsians named above. This herbivore was very small, weighing only about 200 pounds, and its short frill and stunted double horns over its eyes have a distinctly half-evolved appearance. It was only recently that paleontologists from the Royal Ontario Museum reexamined the fossils and determined that they were dealing with a new genus and not an existing ceratopsian species. Styracosaurus had the most rococo, gothic-looking head of any ceratopsian, an imposing potpourri of spikes, horns, frills, and unusually large nostrils. As is the case with many other dinosaurs, the naming of Xenoceratops came well after its original discovery. Agujaceratops (Greek for "Aguja horned face"); pronounced ah-GOO-hah-SEH-rah-tops. Its low position on the food chain also explains another strange attribute of Leptoceratops, its ability to run away on its two hind legs when threatened! The fragmented bones of Spinops were interred for nearly 100 years before a team of paleontologists finally got around to examining them; the "type fossil" of this dinosaur was discovered in 1916, in Canada, by the famous paleontologist Charles Sternberg. More remarkably, until the recent discovery of Ajkaceratops, the only known Eurasian ceratopsians hailed from the eastern part of the continent (one of the westernmost examples being Protoceratops, from what is now present-day Mongolia). Tantalizingly, the fossils of Yinlong bear some resemblance to those of Heterodontosaurus, a clue that the first ceratopsians evolved from equally small ornithopods about 160 million years ago. It's conceivable that this plant-eater occasionally walked on two legs, but definitive evidence for this is lacking. Even as some paleontologists argue that the roster of ceratopsians (horned, frilled dinosaurs) needs to be severely trimmed—on the theory that some of these dinosaurs were actually growth stages of existing dinosaurs—others have persisted in naming new genera. ‭ ‬-‭ ‬Triceratops. Tatankaceratops (Greek for "buffalo horned face"); pronounced tah-TANK-ah-SEH-rah-tops, Moderate size; quadrupedal posture; horns and frill. The name Kosmoceratops is Greek for "ornate horned face," and that's a fitting description of this ceratopsian. They were mainly found in North America.As adults, they grew up to 30 feet long by 9 feet tall (9.1 × 2.7 m), and probably weighed around 5,400 kg (12,000 lb). The famous paleontologist Barnum Brown didn't know quite what to make of Montanoceratops when he unearthed its remains in Montana in 1916; it took him almost 20 years for him to get around to describing the type fossil, which he assigned to another basal ceratopsian, Leptoceratops. A bewildering number of ceratopsians (horned, frilled dinosaurs) occupied North America during the late Cretaceous period, the end stage of a long evolutionary process that began a few million years earlier in eastern Asia. Koreaceratops (Greek for "Korean horned face"); pronounced core-EE-ah-SEH-rah-tops, Middle Cretaceous (100 million years ago). Torosaurus (Greek for "pierced lizard"); pronounced TORE-oh-SORE-us. This ceratopsian, the fossils of which were recently discovered in New Mexico's Ojo Alamo Formation, looked an awful lot like its more famous cousin Triceratops, though it did have a somewhat distinctive, roundish frill. Shringasaurus (meaning "horned lizard", from Sanskrit शृङ्ग (śṛṅga), "horn", and Ancient Greek σαῦρος (sauros), "lizard") is an extinct genus of archosauromorph reptile from the Middle Triassic of India.It is known from the type and only known species, S. indicus. Paleontologists have only unearthed the remains of five-foot-long juveniles of this genus, and incomplete ones at that, the "type specimen" hailing from the Two Medicine Formation in Montana. Achelousaurus (Greek for "Achelous lizard"); pronounced AH-kell-oo-SORE-us, Late Cretaceous (80-65 million years ago), Medium size; large frill; bony knobs above eyes. This dinosaur evolved on Laramidia, a large island of western North America that was cut off from the mainstream of ceratopsian evolution during the late Cretaceous period. As befitting a ceratopsian that lived during the early to middle Cretaceous period, Psittacosaurus lacked any significant horn or frill, to the extent that it took a while for paleontologists to identify it as a true ceratopsian and not an ornithischian dinosaur. Bagaceratops (Mongolian/Greek for "small horned face"); pronounced BAG-ah-SEH-rah-tops. A mere 20 million years or so before enormous ceratopsians (horned, frilled dinosaurs) like Triceratops developed, smaller species such as t he 400-pound Cerasinops roamed North America. Brachyceratops (Greek for "short-horned face"); pronounced BRACK-ee-SEH-rah-tops. As with other ceratopsians, Regaliceratops doubtless evolved its frill as a sexually selected characteristic; it may also have helped with intra-herd recognition, considering how common thick horned, frilled dinosaurs were during the late Cretaceous in North America. See an in-depth profile of Spinops. One among dozens of ceratopsian genera of the late Cretaceous period, Prenoceratops stands out from the pack in at least one way: its fossils were discovered in Montana's famous Two Medicine Formation. Agujaceratops (Greek for "Aguja horned face"); pronounced ah-GOO-hah-SEH … You wouldn't know from looking at it, but Psittacosaurus (Greek for "parrot lizard") was an early member of the ceratopsian family. 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