Scientists have discovered a new species of “horned” plant-eating dinosaur in China, suggesting the Jurassic period may have had more species diversity than previously thought.
Fossils of the new species were discovered in the Gobi Desert in China’s Xinjiang province.
A newly-discovered dinosaur may be the latest member of the Tricerotops’ family tree. “Most of the skull bones [of the new species] are sculpted”. Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis roamed the earth in the first part of the Late Jurassic Period.
The dinosaur has officially been named Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis, and stood on its hind legs. In Mandarin, Hualian means “ornamental face”, referring to the unique texture on its skull, and ceratops means “horned face” in Greek.
Funding: Collection of the fossils and subsequent research were funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41120124002; http://www.nsfc.gov.cn) to XX, the National Geographic Society to JMC, the U.S. National Science Foundation (EAR 0310217 and EAR 0228559; http://www.nsf.gov) to JMC and CAF, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (CUGL140806; http://www.moe.gov.cn/) and China postdoctoral Science Foundation (2014M552108;http://www.chinapostdoctor.org.cn) to FLH. But a detailed study confirmed that, like Yinlong downsi, the newfound plant eater is among the oldest ceratopsians known to science, he said.
Nonetheless, according to James Clark, professor of biology with the George Washington University and Xu Xing, professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the two horned dinosaurs are proving a lineage of the Ceratopsia family was already expanding before the Jurassic. Based on the results, they suggest that at least five ceratopsian lineages, may have been present at the beginning of the Late Jurassic.
A comparison of H. They were an important group of herbivores in North America near the end of their existence upon our planet.
Dinosaurs, not including their bird descendants, disappeared about 66 million years ago.
“Hualianceratops preserved some derived features of Psittacosaurus, and may provide more information of the origin of Psittacosaurus”, Han said.
Moreover, Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis lived at the same time and place as Guanlong, an early relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.
“It’s really weird”, says Nick Longrich, a paleontologist at the University of Bath who wasn’t involved with the study. The dinosaur is a type of Ankylosaur, group of four-legged, herbivorous dinosaurs, closely related to stegosaurs.
New species of dinosaurs found, helps researchers reexamine the pace and pattern of ceratopsian evolution.