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Presenting Mexico's first horned dinosaur

  • 29-05-2010 2:52am
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,076 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    It is official ceratopsid discovery week or something? This is number three and counting.

    A new species of horned dinosaur Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna from the late Cretaceous, unearthed in Mexico has larger horns that any other species – up to 4 feet long – and has given scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to a research team led by paleontologists from the Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.


    The 72-million-year-old rhino-sized creature - Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna - was a four- to five-ton plant-eater belonging to a group called horned dinosaurs, or ceratopsids. The name Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna, refers to the Mexican state of Coahuila where it was found, and to the Greek word 'ceratops' meaning 'horned face.' The second part of the name, magnacuerna, is a combination of Latin and Spanish meaning 'great horn,' in reference to the huge horns above the eyes of this dinosaur.

    The study, partially funded by the National Geographic Society, was conducted by Mark Loewen, Scott Sampson, Eric Lund and Mike Getty, palaeontologists at the Utah Museum of Natural History. Also involved were Andrew Farke of the Raymond M. Alf Museum in Claremont, Calif.; Martha Aguillon-Martinez, Claudio de Leon and Ruben Rodriguez-de la Rosa from the Museum of the Desert in Saltillo, Mexico; and David Eberth of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada.