Dinosaur With Big Nose and Long Horns Discovered in Utah

Posted on July 17, 2013

Nasutoceratops titusi

Fossils of a new species of horned dinosaur were unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah. The dinosaur was announced here in the British scientific journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The plant eating dinosaur, Nasutoceratops titusi, belongs in the same family as Triceratops. Nasutoceratops titusi would have been about fifteen feet (5 meters) long.

Nasutoceratops translates as "big-nose horned face," and the second part of the name honors Alan Titus, Monument Paleontologist at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, for his years of research collaboration.

Horned dinosaurs, or ceratopsids, were a group of big-bodied, four-footed herbivores that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. Most members of this group have huge skulls with a single horn over the nose, one horn over each eye, and a bony frill at the rear. The newly discovered species, Nasutoceratops titusi, possesses several unique features, including an oversized nose relative to other members of the family, and exceptionally long, curving, forward-oriented horns over the eyes.

Mark Loewen, a co-author of the study, said in a statement, "The amazing horns of Nasutoceratops were most likely used as visual signals of dominance and, when that wasn't enough, as weapons for combatting rivals."

The skull of Nasutoceratops is now on permanent display at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Nasutoceratops titusi skull reconstruction

Image: Lukas Panzann (top)

Photo: Skull reconstruction, Rob Gaston (bottom)


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