Navigation Links
Meet Xenoceratops: Canada's newest horned dinosaur
Date:11/8/2012

Ottawa, Canada (November 8, 2012) Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) from Alberta, Canada. Xenoceratops foremostensis (Zee-NO-Sare-ah-tops) was identified from fossils originally collected in 1958. Approximately 20 feet long and weighing more than 2 tons, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest known large-bodied horned dinosaur from Canada. Research describing the new species is published in the October 2012 issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

"Starting 80 million years ago, the large-bodied horned dinosaurs in North America underwent an evolutionary explosion," said lead author Dr. Michael Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. "Xenoceratops shows us that even the geologically oldest ceratopsids had massive spikes on their head shields and that their cranial ornamentation would only become more elaborate as new species evolved."

Xenoceratops (Xeno + ceratops) means "alien horned-face," referring to the strange pattern of horns on its head and the scarcity of horned dinosaur fossils from this part of the fossil record. It also honors the Village of Foremost, located close to where the dinosaur was discovered. Xenoceratops had a parrot-like beak with two long brow horns above its eyes. A large frill protruded from the back of its skull featuring two huge spikes.

"Xenoceratops provides new information on the early evolution of ceratopsids, the group of large-bodied horned dinosaurs that includes Triceratops," said co-author Dr. David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto. "The early fossil record of ceratopsids remains scant, and this discovery highlights just how much more there is to learn about the origin of this diverse group."

The new dinosaur is described from skull fragments from at least three individuals from the Foremost Formation originally collected by Dr. Wann Langston Jr. in the 1950s, and is currently housed in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada. Ryan and Evans stumbled upon the undescribed material more than a decade ago and recognized the bones as a new type of horned dinosaur. Evans later discovered a 50-year-old plaster field jacket at the Canadian Museum of Nature containing more skull bones from the same fossil locality and had them prepared in his lab at the Royal Ontario Museum.

This dinosaur is just the latest in a series of new finds being made by Ryan and Evans as part of their Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, which is designed to fill in gaps in our knowledge of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and study their evolution. This project focuses on the paleontology of some of the oldest dinosaur-bearing rocks in Alberta, which is less intensely studied than that of the famous badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park and Drumheller.

"This discovery of a previously unknown species also drives home the importance of having access to scientific collections," says co-author Kieran Shepherd, curator of paleobiology for the Canadian Museum of Nature, which holds the specimen. "The collections are an untapped source of new material for study, and offer the potential for many new discoveries."

Xenoceratops was identified by a team comprising palaeontologists Dr. Michael J. Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History; and Dr. David Evans, curator, vertebrate palaeontology of the Department of Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum; as well as Kieran Shepherd, curator of paleobiology for the Canadian Museum of Nature. Their findings are published today in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (CJES).


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Ryan
jenny.ryan@nrcresearchpress.com
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. American Society for Microbiologys newest journal earns a high impact factor in latest rankings
2. NJIT author to discuss newest book at Morris Museum on May 9
3. Were dinosaurs destined to be big? Testing Copes rule
4. Dinosaur die-out might have been second of 2 closely timed extinctions
5. Dinosaur bends caused by prolonged diving
6. Engineering technology reveals eating habits of giant dinosaurs
7. Fossil egg discovered in Lleida (Spain) links dinosaurs to modern birds
8. Feathered saurians -- downy dinosaur discovered
9. Newly discovered dinosaur implies greater prevalence of feathers
10. Dinosaurs were warm-blooded reptiles
11. Gaseous emissions from dinosaurs may have warmed prehistoric earth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... , July 20, 2017 Delta (NYSE: DAL ... board any Delta aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to ... Delta,s biometric ... Sky Club is now integrated into the boarding process to allow ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... PARIS , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ... the international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will ... deliver value in various industries. ... in the international market, with a 30 percent increase in ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... --  Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise patient ... Systems , an electronic medical record solutions developer ... a partnership to build an interface between the ... products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity Business ... integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using GE ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... and OXFORD, England , Aug. 16, ... consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, and Virdis ... sectors, have created an exclusive alliance that enables clients to ... "For our clients here in the ... unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership talent throughout ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Pittcon is ... for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the Pittcon 2018 ... Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization processes, high ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Coffea arabica ... biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn about the ... as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for coffee breeding ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... event, which will take place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place ... Head of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who ...
Breaking Biology Technology: