New horned dinosaur species discovered in Arizona wows paleontologists

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A staff of paleontologists lately introduced the invention of a brand new horned dinosaur — a “cousin” of the Triceratops — in southern Arizona.

The brand new species, Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii, was named after the rock formation the fossils had been buried below (Fort Crittenden Formation) in addition to the late newbie scientist Stan Krzyzanowski, who first discovered the fossils.

The bones of the dinosaur had been uncovered beneath 73-million-year-old rocks about 20 years in the past southeast of Tucson, however a staff from the New Mexico Museum of Pure Historical past and Science (NMMNH) lately studied the specimen and decided it was a brand new species. Their findings had been printed in NMMNH’s bulletin.

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“I advised my boss and co-author Spencer Lucas that this can be a new species and that I’m going to work on it. I’m a taxonomist and morphologist, so I used to be capable of finding quite a few morphological options straight away within the materials of Crittendenceratops to ascertain a brand new species,” Sebastian Dalman, lead researcher on the challenge, advised Newsweek on Monday. “Later with the assistance of my good pal and co-author of different tasks Jonathan Wagner, a brand new phylogenetic evaluation was carried out that reveals the relationships of Crittendenceratops to different ceratopsians.”

The dinosaur was possible 11 toes lengthy and weighed round 1,500 kilos, researchers stated. The Phoenix New Occasions in contrast the scale of the creature to an elephant, explaining it is a part of the Ceratopsidae household.

Crittendenceratops' squamosal bone.

Crittendenceratops’ squamosal bone.
(New Mexico Museum of Pure Historical past and Science)

“The importance of this discovery is that Crittendenceratops represents the youngest member of Nasutoceratopsini and that this group was nonetheless dwelling in North America close to the tip of the Cretaceous,” Dalman stated. “It coexisted with two different teams of horned dinosaurs (ceratopsians): centrosaurs and chasmosaurs. It additionally reveals that ceratopsian dinosaurs had been extremely numerous each morphological and taxonomical.”

Spencer Lucas, a curator at NMMNH and co-author of the paper, stated it was a big discover within the state.

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“I can’t even consider six dinosaurs which have been named from Arizona,” he advised the Phoenix New Occasions, noting that the realm the dinosaur as soon as walked was “a greenhouse world.”

Through the Late Cretacious interval, there was a big lake current within the space the place the Crittendenceratops roamed. The greenery was handy for the dinosaur, because it was a plant eater — identical to its family members.

“[It] most likely ate something it may get into its mouth,” Lucas joked.

The classification of the dinosaur has given Arizona researchers a push to proceed learning different specimens which have beforehand been recovered within the state.

“Between the mid 1990’s and 2000, numerous new ceratopsian specimens had been collected by groups on the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) and the New Mexico Museum of Pure Historical past and Science (NMMNH) from the higher Campanian Fort Crittenden Formation of Adobe Canyon throughout the Santa Rita Mountains of southeastern Arizona (Figs. 1-2). These new specimens present vital new details about the morphologic and taxonomic range of Ceratopsidae in North America,” the researchers wrote.

Lucas stated it is proof paleontologists have a “lot extra discipline work” forward of them.

“There are much more dinosaurs on the market in Arizona to be found,” Lucas advised the Phoenix New Occasions. “Younger individuals have to know — you’ll be able to most likely exit and discover a new dinosaur in Arizona.”

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