Two new dinosaurs discovered here in the United States

Ceratopsian 04

Researchers have discovered two new species of Ceratopsian, both discovered right here in the United States.

The first species, Machairoceratops cronusi, was found in a mudstone from the Wahweap Formation located in Utah. This mudstone dates back over 77-million years ago! Inside this mudstone was skull fragments from the colossal beast. The skull gives us a picture as to what the Machairoceratops would have looked like. Two grooved horns measuring roughly 8-meters long, form off of its neck shield and bend forward. Rather than come to a point, these horns are flatter at their ends, which is unlike the horns from other species of Ceratopsidae. Researchers are baffled by the functions of these grooved horns.

Credit: Mark Witton

Credit: Mark Witton

The second species, Spiclypeus shipporum, was found in the Judith River Formation located in Montana. These fossils date back over 76-million years ago. This creature’s neck shield has unusual spike formations growing along the side, some bowing forward, and some just growing outwards. The top of the bone neck shield grows forward and curls down and inward, almost as if it has folded over. The two large horns on its head protrude out to their respective side. Researchers believe that the function of these horns and spikes may have been to identify one another.

Illistration by: Mike Skrepnick

Illistration by: Mike Skrepnick

These newly discovered relatives of the common Triceratops are not the only horn headed creatures that are unusual to look at. Check out some more from this beautiful artwork by Julius T. Csotonyi.

Illistration by: Julius Csotonyi

Illistration by: Julius Csotonyi

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