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New Leptoceratopsids from Alberta

March 12, 2012

Life reconstructions of Unescoceratops koppelhusae and Gryphoceratops morrisoni, Courtesy of Julius Csotonyi.

Today, Michael Ryan and a team of four other Canadian paleontologists including myself and graduate student Caleb Brown from the University of Toronto announced the identification of two new small horned dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta. The new species, Unescoceratops koppelhusae and Gryphoceratops morrisoni, are from the Leptoceratopsidae family of horned dinosaurs. The herbivores lived during the Late Cretaceous period between 75 to 83 million years ago. Although based on fragmentary remains, characters of the dentary define the different species within the leptoceratopsid group, and the new dinosaurs help fill in gaps in the diversity of this group through the Late Cretaceous. In fact, Gryphoceratops morrisoni is the oldest known leptoceratopsid from North America. It is named in honor of ROM technician Ian Morrison, who puzzled pieces of  the jaw together- thanks for all your hard work, Ian!

For more info, see the press release here.

The research was published in the most recent edition of the journal Cretaceous Research:

Ryan, M. J., D. C. Evans, P. J. Currie, C. M. Brown, and D. Brinkman. 2012.  New leptoceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Cretaceous Research 35: 69-80. Available (subscription) here.


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