Small Triceratops Relative Nicknamed Ava Discovered in Montana

Posted on September 19, 2015

Ava dinosaur skeleton

Paleontologists from Colorado have discovered a near complete skeleton of a small Triceratops-like species in Montana. The suspected new species was nicknamed Ava due to its similarity to Avaceratops, a triceratops relative. However, researchers are now sure that Ava is actually not an Avaceratops.

The scientists discovered about 85% of Ava's skeleton. The excavation process took three years. CBS News reports that some mummified tissue was also found around the hip area of the dinosaur. Ava did not have a nose horn like triceratops did.

Michael Triebold, President, Triebold Paleontology, Inc. and founder of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, told CBS News that the dinosaur resembles a mini triceratops. It is a juvenile dinosaur. A U.S. News story has a photograph of a 3-year-old girl standing next to a replica of Ava for a size perspective.

Triebold says, "This is really a cute dinosaur, if dinosaurs can be cute. It looks like a mini triceratops at a glance, but no nose horn." He also told CNN, "(It looked like) a fat pony with a big head and horns."

Here is footage of Ava being unveiled at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Center in Woodland Park, Colorado. Take a look:



Photo: Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Center