A New Horned Dinosaur Species Has Been Discovered in Northwest New Mexico

Daniella Cressman
“We’re the first people to see this species of animal from more than 70 million years ago... Bisticeratops represents a unique kind of dinosaur. Now it’s time for more research and getting the public educated about the discovery.” —Spencer Lucas
"A new species of a horned dinosaur has been discovered in 74 million-year-old rocks in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area in northwest New Mexico. A team of paleontologists, which includes Spencer Lucas and Sebastian Dalman from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, published the findings." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

According to Lucas, the skull was actually discovered back in the 1970s, but it remained largely unprepared for decades!

"According to Lucas, the fossil itself was actually discovered by a University of Arizona field team in the 1970s. However, the skull remained largely unprepared (cleaned and restored) for decades, and that work has been ongoing. That preparation, plus new ideas about ceratopsian diversity, propelled recognition of it as a new species, which is what prompted the publication of the article." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

This dinosaur has been named Bisticeratops froeseorum.

"The team named the dinosaur Bisticeratops froeseorum (pronounced 'Biss-tie-SAYR-uh-tops frose-e-or-um'), after the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area where the fossil was collected, and for the Froese family of the musical group Tangerine Dream, one of [Sebastian] Dalman’s favorite bands." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

The Bisticeratops was from the same group as the famous Triceratops.

"Bisticeratops was a horned dinosaur, or ceratopsian, from the same group as the famous Triceratops, with an estimated body length of about 18 feet. This plant-eating dinosaur lived in the jungles and swamps near the seacoast that submerged what is now northwestern New Mexico 74 million years ago." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

The fossil consists of most of the skull of the Bisticeratops which has bite marks from a large predator, although scientists are uncertain whether these are from active predation while it was alive or scavenging after it had died.

"The fossil itself includes most of the skull of the dinosaur. The skull of Bisticeratops shows bite marks from a large predatory dinosaur, probably a tyrannosaur, although it is uncertain whether this was from active predation while Bisticeratops was alive, or due to scavenging after it had died." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

Lucas says these bite marks are unusual, indicating that a carnivorous dinosaur got to the Bisticeratops at some point in time.

“We can tell that the bite marks aren’t healed...The bites came from either the dinosaur getting killed or maybe after it dies, it was scavenged. Usually you don’t see a number of bite marks like this. When you think about it, the bite marks are telling you a story as a meat-eating dinosaur got to it.” —Spencer Lucas

New Mexico was once home to a myriad of dinosaur species.

"The work on the dinosaur is being done in New Mexico. Meanwhile, Bisticeratops joins other recently described horned dinosaurs from New Mexico – Navajoceratops, Terminocavus and Sierraceratops – in identifying what looks like a unique fauna of horned dinosaurs that lived in New Mexico 73 million to 75 million years ago." —Adrian Gomez (Journal Arts & Entertainment Editor)

Lucas indicated that horned dinosaurs actually originated in Asia.

“Horned dinosaurs originated in Asia and came over to this area...They started to diversify and there were many species. The discoveries of these species show the different complexities with each species.” —Spencer Lucas

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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