A new dinosaurs species has been uncovered in Canada, the species looks a lot similar to the world famous Triceratops but has a type of forward-curling horns never seen before.
The dinosaur species has been named Wendiceratops Pinhornensis, part of which means “Wendy’s horned face”. The name was chosen due to the similarity between “Wendy” and the three horned face Triceratops.
The species lived 79 million years ago and was a herbivore exactly like the famous Triceratops who also lived in the Cretaceous period. However “Wendy” was roaming the Earth about 10 million years earlier than Triceratops.
Wendiceratops is a wonderful discovery which can helps paleontologists understand the evolution of certain skull ornaments which are present in some of the most iconic dinosaurs known to man.
An adult of the new species was on average about 6 meters long and had a preeminent, upright horn starting from its nose, somewhat similar to that of a modern rhino. Other smaller horns adorned the bone shield at the back of its head, which partially protected the back and neck of the animal.
The new species was part of a horned family of dinosaurs and presents one of the most highly decorated shield-like bone structures at the back of its head.
Over 200 bones were discovered in the same place, all of them belonging to members of the Wendiceratops species. The bones belonged to two adults and one infant , and were collected from the Pinhorn Provincial Grazing Reserve hence the species second name ” Pinhornensis” .
Because it lived around 10 million years before triceratops , “Wendy” is the earliest species known to present a large upright nasal horn. It is believed that although “Wendy’s” horns were blunter and shorter that those of Triceratops.
The horns probably served the same basic purpose as those of Triceratops and were one of the steps in the evolution of more weapon like versions that later dinosaurs species adorned.
Wendiceratops is believed to have been shorter in length than Triceratops, by around 10 meters as well as being lighter. The horns were probably used in mating battles, and as a way to attract the opposite sex.
A full scale replica was constructed based on the fossils of the new dinosaur species and can be found on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Image Source: cbc.ca