Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Albertaceratops nesmoi

News of a new horned dinosaur, Albertaceratops nesmoi made headlines earlier this month but I am a little behind! Though the dinosaur was discovered in 2001 and described in Ryan’s 2003 dissertation (as Medusaceratops) it has now been formally published. The generic name means ‘Alberta horned face’ and the specific name honours Cecil Nesmo, a rancher from Southern Alberta who aided the palaeontologists recovering the fossil.

The animal, known from a single complete skull and postcranial fragments, is from the middle Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) Oldman Formation of Alberta, Canada, and Judith River Formation of Montana, USA.

Distinctive features include: long brow horns a bony ridge over its nose two large outwardly-projecting hooks on its frill. Ryan’s phylogenetic found it to be the most basal centrosaurine known.

Ryan, M.J. (2007). A new basal centrosaurine ceratopsid from the Oldman Formation, southeastern Alberta. Journal of Paleontology 81(2):376-396.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like "Medusaceratops" more. Naming animals after their place of residency is boring and unoriginal (Albertasaurus, Edmontasaurus, Edmontonia, Utahraptor, etc.). This is an interesting ceratopsian, though! From the photos I've seen of the fossil, though, it looks like there's barely anything past the orbital horn cores forward. So I wonder how they are restoring a nasal boss and ridge.
And those darn science journals. $30 for a single article? I don't think so!