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The Ceratopsian Thread- Horned Dinosaurs

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  • Recently we reported the 'new' ceratopsian dinosaur Ojoceratops, a possible ancestoor of both Triceratops and Torosaurus which had characteristics of both animals. According to controversial palaeontologist Jack Horner there is a very specific reason why this is the case: Triceratops and Torosaurus are one in the same. Horner reckons Torosaurus, with their larger frills, are simply adult specimens of Triceratops.

    Full article here.

    img201007131279061117-0.jpg
    Triceratops left, Torosaurus right.

    Related story: 1 in 3 Dino Species Never Existed?




  • Not to be confused with Ojoceratops, here comes Mojoceratops perifania, a ceratopsian dinosaur with a hearth shaped frill. Coincidentially enough the frills of ceratopsians are believed to have been used for display during mating season, making Mojoceratops a fairly romantic dinosaur. The name Mojoceratops started out as a joke, meaning "horned face with Mojo" while perifania is greek for 'pride'.
    "You're supposed to use Latin and Greek names, but this just seemed more fun," Longrich said. "You can do good science and still have some fun, too. So why not?"

    Comparison with other ceratopsians:
    6a00d8341bf67c53ef013485684f5c970c-500pi

    Read all about it here.




  • Galvasean wrote: »
    Recently we reported the 'new' ceratopsian dinosaur Ojoceratops, a possible ancestoor of both Triceratops and [iTorosaurus[/i] which had characteristics of both animals. According to controversial palaeontologist Jack Horner there is a very specific reason why this is the case: Triceratops and Torosaurus are one in the same. Horner reckons Torosaurus, with their larger frills, are simply adult specimens of Triceratops.

    Full article here.

    img201007131279061117-0.jpg
    Triceratops left, Torosaurus right.

    Related story: 1 in 3 Dino Species Never Existed?

    Don't agree with much of Horner's conclusions, but I'd say he's right with this one. Even today, if you look at some of the sexual dimorphism, I'd say we have alot of 'different' species, that are actually the same animal.




  • The structure seems a good deal more delicate than related species, and I wonder about the 'holes'.

    Could it be possible that like some modern lizards and birds the skin could be inflated to produce a display to attract a mate. Or was it static and just got waved around.

    I expect it could not be proved one way or another now. But the delicacy of the structure seems quite remarkable if all it did was support a coloured bit of skin.




  • I'm not sure about inflation, as there doesn't seem to be any means to inflate such a skin pouch.
    Re: the gaps in it's frill, don't be too surprised if Mojoceratops ends up being classed as a subadult of an already named species of ceratopsian (more info.)


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  • Not sure I would agree to it being a sub-adult. Just looking at the nature of the skull shows a couple of things that lead me to believe it is a mature specimen.

    The horns at the front are fully formed and not stubby litle add ons as would be the case if the creature were not mature.

    The structure of the frills appears to differ quite a lot from any of the others.

    Not definative, especially from an amateur, but I think I may be correct.




  • It's hard to say. It could be a case of sexual dimorphism either. It looks quite likely that pioneering palaeontologists were too liberal assigfning new genera to ceratopsian dinosaurs. Species are another matter, but the number of different ceratopsian genera roaming late Cretaceous North America seems odd.




  • Yes I have to agree there.

    There are bound to be a variety of species going by the fossil record, but genera are a different kettle of fish altogether.

    Perhaps the whole system of recording such creatures needs to be re-examined, along with the fossils themselves.




  • They did something with birds recently. Had to reassign many species into different families IIRC.




  • That could prove to be confusing then.

    The example with prehistoric beasts that springs to mind is the Brontosaurus.

    But with living creatures, I am not sure it will be too helpful. Much easier to just add a footnote that it is or is not related to other species.


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  • Don't know if anybody has read this article so just gonna link it

    Fascinating stuff

    I hope none of my fave's get redesignated .




  • It was already known that triceratops skulls changed throughout their development, but not that the final result was a torosaurus. Torosaurus will now be abolished as a species and specimens reassigned to Triceratops, says Horner.
    Phew, I am quite emotionally attached to the triceratops. It is the ultimate dinosaur in my book, I would be very upset if it ceased to exist
    "It is hard to walk out into the Hell Creek formation and not stumble upon a triceratops weathering out of a hillside," says Scannella
    I have to visit this place!




  • Another two additions to the ceratopsian family discovered in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, meet Utahceratops gettyi and Kosmoceratops richardsoni.

    100922121943-large.jpg
    Utahceratops gettyi (Top), Kosmoceratops richardsoni (Bottom)

    Probably the most notable feature of Kosmoceratops is that it possesses a total of 15 horns making it one of the the most ornate-headed dinosaurs ever found, whereas for Utahceratops most ususual feature is short and blunt eye horns that project to the side rather than upward, much more like the horns of modern bison than ceratopsians.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922121943.htm

    Two remarkable new species of horned dinosaurs have been found in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah. The giant plant-eaters were inhabitants of the "lost continent" of Laramidia, formed when a shallow sea flooded the central region of North America, isolating the eastern and western portions of the continent for millions of years during the Late Cretaceous Period.

    The bigger of the two new dinosaurs, with a skull 2.3 meters (about 7 feet) long, is Utahceratops gettyi (U-tah-SARA-tops get-EE-i). The first part of the name combines the state of origin with ceratops, Greek for "horned face." The second part of the name honors Mike Getty, paleontology collections manager at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the discoverer of this animal. In addition to a large horn over the nose, Utahceratops has short and blunt eye horns that project strongly to the side rather than upward, much more like the horns of modern bison than those of Triceratops or other ceratopsians. Mark Loewen, one of the authors on the paper, likened Utahceratops to "a giant rhino with a ridiculously supersized head."

    .......................

    Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops are part of a recent spate of ceratopsian dinosaur discoveries. Andrew Farke, another of the paper's authors, stated, "The past year has been a remarkable one for horned dinosaurs, with several new species named. The new Utah creatures are the icing on the cake, showing anatomy even more bizarre than typically expected for a group of animals known for its weird skulls."




  • Found you a whole bunch more horned dinos. You all enjoy them, ya hear:
    http://listverse.com/2010/10/01/10-spectacular-horned-dinosaurs/




  • The debate on whether ceratopsian dinosaurs could swim opens once again. Sadly, a consensus has not been reached yet.
    The authors of the new study approach the possibility that Koreaceratops was semi-aquatic tentatively. The paper’s abstract states that the tall neural spines of Koreaceratops, Montanaceratops and other ceratopsians may have evolved multiple times as a possibly adaptation to swimming, but in the body of the paper they state that the evidence that these dinosaurs were regular swimmers is equivocal.

    I am doubtful that the deep tails of these dinosaurs can be taken as a good indicator of their swimming ability. As the authors of the new study document in the paper, the tail shapes of each of these deep-tailed ceratopsians varies significantly. Koreaceratops had a tail with taller and taller neural spines approaching the tip—making the end portion of the tail the deepest—while in Protoceratops the deepest portion is closer to the hips, being in the middle of the tail or just a bit closer to the rest of the body. If all of these dinosaurs had tails that independently evolved to allow them to propel themselves through the water, it might be expected that they would all have tails with the same shape, namely with the deepest part of the tail being near the tip as this would give them the most thrust. Instead, the different deep tail types may have been involved in display or species recognition, in which case we would expect for there to be variation in tail shape from one dinosaur to another.

    Full article here.

    koreaceratops-skeleton.jpg

    So what say you, evidence of an amphibious lifestyle or just another fancy way for dinosaurs to show off?




  • It would be so cool if they were amphibious.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Tempting isn't it? It's too cool not to be true! :cool:
    Hopefully the teeth/oxygen isotope experiment can answer the question like it did in relation to the spinosaurs.




  • I would be of the thinking that some Ceratopsian could swim, if only for short distances like river crossings.


    I think they may have been like the rhino, yes I know that is a lazy comparison:), in terms of swimming, what with some rhino being capable swimmers, like the Asian One Horned Rhino, and some, generally the much larger ones like the White Rhino, not being so keen on being in water deeper than wading level.




  • Guess what.............

    Triceratops =/= Torosaurus

    The battle rages on...




  • Damn you Galv. Putting up something that Horner said that I actually agree with.:mad:


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  • The battle for the lost souls of the horned dinosaurs rages on!
    For those of you who haven't yet been driven mad by the constant reclassification I present to you the latest take on the subject.
    http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/2011/01/the-great-triceratops-debate-continues/

    So basically a paper reckons Nedoceratops is unique enough to be regarded as it's own genus worthy of it's own name as it is unique enough to not be either Triceratops or Torosaurus.
    Call me in a few years and let me know who wins the war...




  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but, isn´t Triceratops supossed to be bigger than Torosaurus? I remember something about HUGE Triceratops specimens stored in some museum, much bigger than any Torosaurus. I hope Horner's not going to argue that Triceratops shrunk as it grew older?:confused:

    I don´t know... I'm no expert but Horner has said some absurd things in the past and I don´t really trust anything he says now




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but, isn´t Triceratops supossed to be bigger than Torosaurus? I remember something about HUGE Triceratops specimens stored in some museum, much bigger than any Torosaurus. I hope Horner's not going to argue that Triceratops shrunk as it grew older?:confused:

    I don´t know... I'm no expert but Horner has said some absurd things in the past and I don´t really trust anything he says now

    *cackles like a maniac*
    Welcome to the confusing world of horned dinosaurs!!!!!!

    Ceratopsians are fast becoming my least favorite group of dinosaurs. There seems to be an ongoing palaeontological 'war' in trying to determine which names are valid, which species are sub-adults, what constitutes sexual dimorphism etc. The ceratopsian family tree seems t get re-written on a weekly basis. It's all too much for a layman like myself. Personally, I think I'll wait until the dust settles on this one...

    If you REALLY want to start looking into it here is a good place to start:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triceratops#Valid_species

    Be warned traveler, once Pandora's box has been opened things can never be the same!




  • Galvasean wrote: »
    *There seems to be an ongoing palaeontological 'war' in trying to determine which names are valid, which species are sub-adults, what constitutes sexual dimorphism etc. The ceratopsian family tree seems t get re-written on a weekly basis. It's all too much for a layman like myself. Personally, I think I'll wait until the dust settles on this one...

    IF the dust ever settles... after all, the history of paleontology is nothing moe than an ongoing war (Marsh and Cope? Alan Feduccia and the BAND against everyone else?)...




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    IF the dust ever settles... after all, the history of paleontology is nothing moe than an ongoing war (Marsh and Cope?

    That reminds me, I really want to see this:
    PBSAmericanExperienceDinosaurWars.jpg&sa=X&ei=iOKMTbnZOoaAhQeqgfWlCw&ved=0CAQQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNFxsHuDZg-m7Pu1SEVgSEAxBMWJTQ

    and oddly, this:
    DWCov1.gif
    A U.S. space probe discovers a 65-million-year-old derelict outpost at the moon’s south pole. Now the owners of the moonbase are returning to reclaim their home world —our world.

    In Montana, wildlife biologist Chase Armstrong and rancher’s daughter Kit Daniels survive attacks by T-Rex and deadly Megaraptors to find that they are at ground-zero, where the invaders’ lost city lies buried under a mountain of sandstone. Deep in the underground catacombs, trapped by human-sized, intelligent carnivorous dinosaurs, they may be mankind’s last hope for survival.




  • That looks like either a good bit of escapism... or it is more glossy 'B' movie rubbish. If you see it let me know which. :)




  • First of all... is everyone ok? Seems to me that this forum is reaching its KT boundary if you know what I mean...

    Anyways, it's been nearly 100 years since this dinosaur was discovered, yet it had never been described or named. Sometimes I just hate paleontologists. Who knows what other amazing things we're missing...

    dino-spinops-drawing-490_106680_2.jpg

    http://www.science20.com/news_articles/spinops_sternbergorum_horned_dinosaur_discovery_100_years_making-85273




  • That;s the very frustrating thing about palaeontology in general. Everything takes so bloody long to do!!!!

    PS: the forum always goes a bit quiet this time of year. Everybody is super busy what with Christmas and all that jazz (I know I am). It's not just this particular forum. Most of boards is that bit quieter lately.


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  • Galvasean wrote: »
    That;s the very frustrating thing about palaeontology in general. Everything takes so bloody long to do!!!!

    PS: the forum always goes a bit quiet this time of year. Everybody is super busy what with Christmas and all that jazz (I know I am). It's not just this particular forum. Most of boards is that bit quieter lately.

    So it is the KT boundary! (Kristmas Time, that's what I meant :D)


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