New dinosaurs discovered in Utah, USA

Utahceratops gettyi and Kosmoceratops richardsoni, at top and bottom, respectively. Image credit: Lukas PanzarinFrom The Open Source Paleontologist blog in the USA:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Horned Dinosaurs: When It Rains, It Pours

2010 will surely go down as the annus mirabilis of horned dinosaur research. Between the publications of the horned dinosaur symposium volume (with its myriad new taxa and other exciting pieces of research), a “bagaceratopsid” in Europe, a true ceratopsid in Asia, the hypothesis that Torosaurus and Triceratops are growth stages of the same taxon, and more, it’s really tough for a “ceratophile” (to borrow Peter Dodson‘s term) to keep up!

Today continues the embarrassment of ceratopsian riches. With my co-authors Scott Sampson, Mark Loewen, Cathy Forster, Eric Roberts, Alan Titus, and Josh Smith, I’m pleased to introduce you to Utahceratops gettyi and Kosmoceratops richardsoni (at top and bottom, respectively, in the image at right), freshly published in PLoS ONE. Although it’s been a long time coming, our hope is that these new critters will really knock your socks off!

So what’s so special about these two animals? Well, for one they’re new dinosaurs. And new horned dinosaurs at that. On a broader note, our new critters (along with careful radiometric dating of the Kaiparowits Formation, the rock unit in southern Utah from which they originated) provide important evidence for dinosaur provincialism during the Late Cretaceous. In other words, these big, elephant-sized dinosaurs weren’t traveling far. They’re the same age as dinosaurs known from much further to the north, yet represent a very different part of the horned dinosaur family tree. This is strange, especially when you consider that today there is only one (or maybe two, depending on whom you ask) elephant species in all of Africa! 75 million years ago, there were three or four closely related species of horned dinosaur living simultaneously on that little strip of beachfront property that comprised western North America. And that’s not counting a few more less closely-related horned dinosaurs (centrosaurines) that lived at the same time! Truly weird.

See also here. And here.

Meet Kosmoceratops, the horniest vegetarian dinosaur: here.

Top dinosaur hunters are worst at naming: here.

3 thoughts on “New dinosaurs discovered in Utah, USA

  1. Europe’s largest dinosaur femur found in Teruel

    By h.b. – Sep 23, 2010 – 6:09 PM

    It’t not clear whether the bones found at the Territorio Dinópolis Project are from a new species

    The femur bone of the largest dinosaur discovered in Europe, was presented to the press in Teruel, Spain on Thursday.

    The bone is nearly two metres long, and was found at the Riodeva dig, the same place that the remains of the ‘Turuasaurus riodevensis’ dinosaur was found, estimated to have had a weight of 40 tons and a length of 30 metres. It is still not established whether the femur bone comes from a previously unknown species of dinosaur.

    Director of the dig, Alberto Cobos, said that the bone was found three months ago, and since then other remains have been found. They have the femur at 1.92m long, a right tibia 1.25m long, 15 vertebras from the tail, 11 chevrons, a nearly complete set of teeth, and part of the skull. He noted that only 12 square metres had been excavated so far, and experience tells us that it is rare for a single beast to be found alone. He said now the slower laboratory work would start.

    The bones were found in sediments dated to be 145 million years old.

    The Territorio Dinópolis project started in 2001 from the Aragon Development Institute, IAF, depending on the Aragón Government, which has invested more than 37 million €. The money has been recovered several times over thanks to the tourist interest in the project and resulting income for the services sector in the region.

    More information and


  2. Pingback: Tyrannosaur discovery in Utah, USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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