New Horned Dinosaur is Named Wendiceratops

Posted on July 9, 2015

Wendiceratops pinhornensis

A newly discovered horned dinosaur species has been named Wendiceratops. The dinosaur was discovered in fossils collected in southern Alberta, Canada. The bones of at least four different individuals were discovered at the site.

The dinosaur is named Wendiceratops pinhornensis after Alberta fossil hunter Wendy Sloboda. She discovered the site where the Wendiceratops and other dinosaur fossils have been found.

Wendiceratops was about 20 feet long and weighed over 1 ton. It lived about 79 million years ago and is one of the oldest known members of Ceratopsia, the family that includes Triceratops. The dinosaur had a large horn on its nose and horns above its eyes. It had forward curling horns on the wide shield-like frill located on the back of its head.

David Evans from the Royal Ontario Museum and Michael Ryan from Cleveland Museum of Natural History co-authored a research paper on the new dinosaur in the journal, PLoS One.

Dr. Evans says in a statement, "Wendiceratops helps us understand the early evolution of skull ornamentation in an iconic group of dinosaurs characterized by their horned faces. The wide frill of Wendiceratops is ringed by numerous curled horns, the nose had a large, upright horn, and it's likely there were horns over the eyes too. The number of gnarly frill projections and horns makes it one of the most striking horned dinosaurs ever found."

Image: Danielle Dufault