Paleo Profile: Wucaiwan’s Ornamented Horned Face
The ceratopsians are among our favorite dinosaurs. These great horned herbivores included Triceratops, Styracosaurus, and Pentaceratops in their ranks, as well as celebrated newcomers like Nasutoceratops. But these were only some of the largest and last of their kind. A new find, reported by paleontologist Genglu Han and colleagues, is a reminder that ceratopsians started off small.
The new dinosaur, found in the Late Jurassic rock of northwestern China, has been named Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis by the researchers. And while it looked relatively similar to another early horned dinosaur found in the same formation, Yinlong downsi, the skull pieces of Hualianceratops justify its identification as something different. And this has some important implications for the way horned dinosaurs evolved.