New Horned Dinosaur Species Discovered in Museum Storage

Posted on December 7, 2014

University of Bath paleontologist Dr. Nick Longrich discovered two new horned dinosaur species after he studied some fossils that had been in the the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa for over 75 years.

One of the newly discovered species is a new species of Pentaceratops named Pentaceratops aquilonius. The other specimen Dr. Longrich found appears to be a new species of Kosmoceratops. Longrich says he will need more fossils to be certain the second specimen is a new species. The Daily Mail reports that the dinosaurs had previously been classified as Anchiceratops and Chasmosaurus.

Longrich says in a statement, "We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left. There are lots of species out there. We've really only just scratched the surface."

The newly discovered Pentaceratops species, Pentaceratops aquilonius, is described as being a primitive relative of Pentaceratops sternbergii, a Pentaceratops species from New Mexico. P. aquilonius is smaller and has a different shaped frill than its relative.

A research paper on the new specimens was published here in the journal, Cretaceous Research. Longrich says in his paper that finding a Pentaceratops and Kosmoceratops in Canada indicates dinosaur distribution was not limited by geographical barriers. He says, "The ability of dinosaur lineages to disperse long distances across North America suggests that dinosaur distribution was not constrained by geographic barriers, climate, or flora. Instead, dinosaur endemism may result from competitive exclusion of immigrants by established populations adapted to local environmental conditions."

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