Ornamental Faced Ceratopsian Dinosaur Found In China

Posted: Dec 11 2015, 7:29am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Ornamental Faced Ceratopsian Dinosaur Found in China
This is the reconstructed skull of the holotype specimen of Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis (IVPP V18641). Abbreviations: an, angular; d, dentary; j, jugal; ma, maxilla; pd, predentary; po, postorbital; q, quadrate; sa, surangular; sq, squamosal CREDIT Han et al.
  • A 160 million year-old Ceratopsian Dinosaur has been discovered possessing Decorative Facial Features

Paleontologists have discovered a Ceratopsian dinosaur which possesses decorative facial features.

A 160 million year old sample of a Ceratopsian dinosaur in fossilized form was discovered. It seems to have ornamental plates on its skull and facial bones, according to a study published December 9, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Fenglu Han from the China University of Geosciences and colleagues.

This dinosaur was unearthed in China. It hails from the late Jurassic stage. It happens to be the best studied of dinosaurs up until now. The list of these gentle and ferocious giants is indeed long and many of them remain a mystery up until now. But this ornamental Ceratopsian is well examined and everything about it was noted down by scientists. 

Two such Ceratopsians have been studied up until now. The ornamentation on the skull bones gives the real identity of this dinosaur away. Each dinosaur has its own unique features.

The sharp pointed carnivorous teeth of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is a prime example. And the many horns of the Triceratops is another fine instance of evolution acting to give certain dinosaurs means of protection against predators.

This Ceratopsian was labeled Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis. The term “Hualian” means “ornamentation on the facial features”. The skull however has a partial skeleton attached to it. This is tragic since a more thorough series of bones would have led to greater analysis.    

The relationship between this dinosaur and the rest of the Ceratopsians has been studied in detail by researchers. All the dinosaurs seem to have disappeared before the age of the mammals from which human beings emerged.

Some scientists have surmised that a large comet caused a huge extinction of the world’s species and the only ones left were mammals. Others say that the dinosaurs had become too big for their own good and just sort of lost their economic niche in the scheme of things. 

Dinosaurs were probably huge birds as the latest evidence seems to point out with succinct surety. They laid eggs and were not necessarily reptiles. It is the avians of today that are their truly evolved relatives.

These large beasts once ruled the earth. And mammals were often small rodent-like creatures that became the prey for these big and lofty behemoths.

But once they vanished without a trace, the mammals flourished until mankind emerged at the dawn of history. Despite evidence to the contrary, the fact is that the earliest and most primitive human beings missed the period of dinosaurs by a wide margin. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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