New Dinosaur identified in Canada

A team of Palaeontologists have named a new four-horned dinosaur, Xenoceratops, from an assortment of fossilised bone fragments first collected in Canada in the 1950’s.

Upon re-examination of the previously undescribed fossils, the palaeontologists realised the bones belonged to at least three individuals of a new type of plant-eating dinosaur. Once the fossils had been analysed more closely, it became apparent the dinosaurs (relatives of the famous Triceratops) would each have weighed an impressive two tonnes and grown to a colossal 20ft in length.

The palaeontologists named the new dinosaur Xenoceratops which means ‘alien horned-face’ – a reference to the odd pattern of horns on the dinosaurs head, as well as the relative scarcity of horned dinosaur specimens from this period of the fossil record.

Xenoceratops is believed it to have lived in the Late Cretaceous period (100-65 million years ago) at the same time as other dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus-Rex and Stegosaurus. The four horned giant is the latest in a series of new discoveries being made as part of the Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, a venture designed to increase understanding of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs and to study their evolution.

Xenoceratops fossilised spike, dorsal (top) and ventral (bottom) views

Source: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

FYI

Does anyone have any other fun dinosaur-related facts they’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Jack Croxall

Jack Croxall is an author/scriptwriter living in Nottinghamshire. He tweets via @JackCroxall and you can visit his author blog by clicking the 'Website' link below.

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