Scientists digging in central Mexico have uncovered the bones of a previously unknown dinosaur. The species, not yet named, had three horns and a massive neck frill, similar to the familiar Triceratops. The scientists peculate that these dinosaurs used their neck frills for display, to attract mates. Adolescent males may have used their horns in head-butting contests, like some modern sheep do, to establish dominance.
Triceratops, meet your new little cousin.
Dino diggers in Utah announced last week the finding of a new dinosaur, which is a smaller, older version of the well-known horned dinosaur.
It was actually uncovered three years ago at a dinosaur excavation in southern Utah at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. And the find was made completely by accident by paleontologists Jim Kirklad and Don DeBlieux. They were doing a survey of fossil resources in on the land when DeBlieux set down his backpack to take a photo. A fossilized bone was protruding from the rock shelf were he set his back pack down.
That bone turned out to be the skull of a new type of ceratopsid. It took about three years to excavate the rock from the site and then remove the fossilized remains. What researchers found was a smaller, older version of triceratops.
The new dinosaur was a horned plant eater who roamed the earth about 80 million years ago. It was about 15 feet log and six feet tall, similar in build to today’s rhinos. It’s truly unique feature is having two nose horns.
More information about this new dinosaur is to come. It will get its formal name in about a year and will eventually be put on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.
And there are even more new dinosaurs being discovered in the area. Scott Sampson, curator of the Utah Museum of Natural History, reports that all of the dinosaurs discovered in the national monument area are new discoveries.