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Two-Ton Plant-Eater Lived 78 Million Years Ago in Montana

  • 29-05-2010 2:41am
    #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,073 marco_polo


    Discovery of a new horned dinosaur, Medusaceratops lokii (meaning simply Loki's horned-faced Medusa) a ceratopsian measuring 20 feet long and weighing more than 2 tonnes. The newly identified plant-eating dinosaur lived nearly 78 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Montana


    100528113914-large.jpg
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100528113914.htm

    Medusaceratops belongs to the Chasmosaurinae subfamily of the horned dinosaur family Ceratopsidae. The other subfamily is Centrosaurinae. The specimen is the first Campanian-aged chasmosaurine ceratopsid found in Montana. It is also the oldest known Chasmosaurine ceratopsid.

    The new dinosaur was discovered in a bonebed on private land located along the Milk River in North Central Montana. Fossilized bones from the site were acquired by Canada Fossil, Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, in the mid-1990s. The company consulted with Ryan and his colleagues to identify material from the site. At first, the scientists could not make a positive identification.

    Medusaceratops had giant brow bones more than 3 feet long over each eye, and a large, shield-like frill off the back of its skull adorned with large curling hooks. Medusaceratops lokii means "Loki's horned-faced Medusa," referring to the thickened, fossilized, snake-like hooks on the side of the frill. It was named after Loki, the Norse god of mischief, because the new dinosaur initially caused scientists some confusion.


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