New Horned Dinosaur Discovered in Arizona

A new genus and species of herbivorous ceratopsid (horned) dinosaur being named Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii has been discovered by paleontologists from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Science (NMMNHS).

Life reconstruction of Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii. Image credit: Sergey Krasovskiy.

Life reconstruction of Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii. Image credit: Sergey Krasovskiy.

Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii roamed what is now Arizona about 73 million years ago (Late Cretaceous epoch).

The new dinosaur belongs to a group of horned dinosaurs called the centrosaurs.

The ancient creature was about 11 feet (3.5 m) long, weighed an estimated 750 kg, and can be distinguished from other centrosaurs by the unique shape of the bones in its frill (head shield).

Like other horned dinosaurs, Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii was a plant eater.

The fossilized skull fragments from two individuals of the species were collected from the Fort Crittenden Formation of southeastern Arizona.

The specimens were described and named by NMMNHS paleontologists Dr. Sebastian Dalman and co-authors.

“The name Crittendenceratops is for the Fort Crittenden Formation and Greek ceratops, which means horned face,” they explained.

“The species name krzyzanowskii is for the late Stan Krzyzanowski, a NMMNHS research associate who discovered the bones of the new dinosaur.”

A paper describing Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii will be published in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History Science Bulletin.

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Sebastian G. Dalman et al. 2018. A new ceratopsid dinosaur (Centrosaurinae: Nasutoceratopsini) from the Fort Crittenden Formation, Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) of Arizona. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 79

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