fossils

Triceratops relative Wendiceratops is all frills all the time

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Nick
Garland

Founder and Editor
Wendiceratops becomes the second horned dinosaur unveiled this year. It is the oldest relative of Triceratops and the oldest dinosaur of its group with a big nose horn.

The ceratopsian dinosaur was named after Wendy Sloboda, a famous dinosaur hunter who found its fossils in southeast Alberta, Canada in 2010. Being the true rockstar that she is, Wendy even got a tattoo of her namesake, which you can view in the gallery on this page.


Wendiceratops pinhornensis weighed about a ton and was 20 feet long, smaller than its more famous cousin Triceratops. Like its ceratopsian relatives, it was a plant eater.


Unlike some of its relatives, Wendiceratops didn’t have a spike on its nose, but more of a blunt pedestal-like horn. It also had two large spikes above its eyes and curled spikes along the top of its frill.


A Chinese ceratopsian called Sinoceratops is its closest relative and shares many of its skull characteristics. How another dinosaur from a different continent is its closest relative is a question that needs more investigation.


The fossils were found in a layer of rock called the Oldman Formation in Alberta, dating from the Cretaceous Period around 79 million years ago. During that time North America was divided into east and west landmasses by a large interior seaway. Southeast Alberta was a coastal lowland on the western side of the sea. Wendiceratops lived in lush forests alongside tyrannosaurs, other ceratopsians and the famous crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus.

Image Credit: Danielle Dufault

5c3e0c5dff4b84c2d89b8da7be5adf3e

Nick
Garland

Founder and Editor


http://sulc.us/9atu4
http://www.eartharchives.org/articles/triceratops-relative-wendiceratops-is-all-frills-all-the-time/