Scientists everywhere are celebrating after the news of two new dinosaur species began to spread like wildfire on Wednesday. The scientific magazine PLoS ONE announced that fossils of two new dinosaur species were unearthed in a desolate area of southern Utah. The fossils are from two species that are closely related to the triceratops.
Clearly cooler than the other, one of the newly found species has 15 horns on its head. Technically called Kosmoceratops richardsoni, this horny guy is thought to be the most ornate-headed dinosaur known to man. This plant eater has a horn over the nose, one on each cheekbone, another over each eye and ten around back. This species used to roam the “lost island continent” of Laramidia during the Cretaceous period. Laramidia spanned from what is now Alberta, Canada, to New Mexico.
The other species, although bigger, has fewer horns and is called the Utahceratops gettyi. Resembling a bison, it has two side horns and one over its nose.
The fossils were found near the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in a 1.9 million-acre arid region. Dinosaurs set foot here 74 to 77 million years ago. Raymond Bernorthis, program director of the Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology Program at the US National Science Foundation, explains his excitement and says, ”This discovery has inspired future discoveries in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which has now emerged as one of the most important paleontological reserves in the world.”