FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – A new horned dinosaur species has been discovered south of Farmington, New Mexico, by a team of paleontologists, including two from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
Most of the skull is preserved. It shows large bite marks from another dinosaur, though they say those could be from after its death. They named the dinosaur bisticeratops froeseorum because it was discovered in the Bisti Denazin wilderness area. The plant-eating dinosaur spanned about 18 feet.
“Bisticeratops adds to the diversity of Late Cretaceous horned dinosaurs from New Mexico,” said Dr. Lucas in a news release. “It shows that important discoveries and analyses continue to be made in the state in our effort to understand better the history of dinosaurs during the last few million years before their extinction.”
According to a news release, the discovery of bisticeratops adds to New Mexico’s fossil record and to the understanding of horned dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous period. The bisticeratops fossil joins other recently described horned dinosaurs from New Mexico — navajoceratops, terminocavus and sierraceratops. Last year, a sierraceratops dinosaur was discovered in southern New Mexico.
These creatures found in New Mexico appear to be distinct from the horned dinosaurs that lived in what is now Montana and Alberta, which according to the news release, indicates a longitudinal variation among ceratopsians. The discovery also shows that the last few million years of ceratopsian evolution were more complex than first thought.
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Researchers last year also found the fossil of the menefeeceratops, which included multiple bones from one individual. It was found by a research associate of NMMNHS in Cretaceous rocks of the Menefee Formation. That dinosaur is said to be related to but predates triceratops.