New Dinosaur: Titanic Triceratops Ancestor?

With an eight-foot skull, Titanoceratops may have been the granddaddy of Triceratops. But did it really exist?

At 15,000-pound (6,800-kilogram) the prehistoric titan would have rivaled the African elephant-size Triceratops, which weighed more than 11,000 pounds (5,000 kilograms), according to a new analysis of a partial skeleton.

The beast—which had an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) skull—is the biggest dinosaur found so far in North America during the late Cretaceous period, about 74 million years ago.

(Read about another Triceratops ancestor found in Canada.)

If indeed a new species, Titanoceratops' discovery could also mean that triceratopsins—members of a family of giant horned dinosaurs—evolved their gigantic sizes evolved at least five million years earlier than previously thought, the study says.

"It's pretty surprising—I would have not have thought something this big and this advanced was living in this time period," said

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