New species of horned, plant-eating dinosaur unveiled

Yellowstone Public Radio has a piece on the grand-looking Lokiceratops rangiformes, unearthed in Montana and “unveiled” at the Natural History Museum of Utah:

Mark Loewen is a professor of Geology and Geophysics and a paleontologist at the University of Utah. In 2022, he and his students were given permission to research and piece together hundreds of small, individual skull bones. The fragments were excavated in 2019, from what used to be swampland in now northern Montana.

“We totally expected this to be an already known species of dinosaur that comes from Montana called Medusa ceratops. Me and my students are saying, Oh, this shouldn’t be here. And it was like a Eureka moment in which, wow, we have a new dinosaur,” Loewen said.

The horned dinosaurs are interesting. They’re notable because they have horns above their eyes, often on their nose. And at the same time, they take the back of their head and they stretch it out to double the length of their skull with this giant head shield that we call a frill,” Loewen said.

Loewen says this discovery likely means there are more species of horned dinosaurs out there than paleontologists first realized.

The university team made a sculpture reconstruction, which is being revealed June 20th, simultaneously with the unveiling of the real bones at the Museum of Evolution in Denmark, which purchased the original fossils.