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Palaeontology

America's first horned dinosaur discovered

By T.K. Randall
December 13, 2014 · Comment icon 5 comments



An artist's reconstruction of Aquilops americanus. Image Credit: CC BY 2.5 Brian Engh
Palaeontologists have identified a rabbit-sized horned dinosaur that was a relative of Triceratops.
The new species, which was discovered during an expedition to Montana in 1997, has now been named Aquilops americanus after being officially recognized as the earliest known example of a ceratopsian ever found in North America.

The eagle-faced dinosaur possessed an unusual looking beak but lacked the brow horns and neck frill of its relative Triceratops which didn't emerge until more than 50 million years later.
Paleontologist Andrew Farke and colleagues believe that Aquilops, which was also a lot smaller than Triceratops, actually belonged to a side-branch of the ceratopsian family tree and that its closest living relative at the time most likely resided in Asia.

"Now that it's been officially described, we'll be able to more accurately talk about early horned dinosaur evolutionary history in North America," he said.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Cruel_Cahal 8 years ago
Rabbit-sized with horns... sounds like it might be a relative of the elusive Jackalope.
Comment icon #2 Posted by tantalusw 8 years ago
makes me think of a baby that gets that tooth to break out of the egg then looses it but I do wish we could bring some of these amazing creatures back with science
Comment icon #3 Posted by Father Merrin 8 years ago
makes me think of a baby that gets that tooth to break out of the egg then looses it but I do wish we could bring some of these amazing creatures back with science Amen to that brother! I share similar views! I believe humanity will take the next big leap when they clone/rebreed the first dinosaur! It will change everything we thought we knew about Paleontology! As of now it's all hugely guess work, but once we break the morality issue and start swinging aimlessly then we will answer life's true questions
Comment icon #4 Posted by HVBovoidell 8 years ago
Wonder why it took so long to find
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha 8 years ago
Wonder why it took so long to find Because they are extinct?


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