Friday, July 9, 2010

Newly Discovered Dinosaur: Mojoceratops

Paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University discovered and named the dinosaur after the heart-shaped frill around its head.  After a round of beers with some colleagues, Longrich decided upon the name "Mojoceratops".  The name was thought of to be a joke, at first, but the name stuck even though Longrich tried to come up with a more serious name.  The dinosaur's full and official name is Mojoceratops perifania.

Mojoceratops belongs to the chasmosaurine ceratopsid family and was a plant eater roughly the size of a hippopotamus.  Chasmosaurine ceratopsid's are characterized by elaborate frills on their skulls.  It lived around 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period, some 10 million years before the Triceratops, Mojo's more well-known cousin.  It is related to another dinosaur species found in Texas in the United States but Mojoceratops lived only in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.  It walked the earth for a mere 1 million years before dying out.

Longrich made his discovery by researching dinosaur fossils in American and Canadian museums.

Read this article for more information about this new dinosaur with a cool name and to see a picture of its frilled skull.

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