12 November 2012
Posted in DinoDigs
A distant cousin to the triceratops, this massive dinosaur’s name Xenoceratops foremostensis means “alien-horned face.” The beastly creature has a rare pattern of horns on its head and above its brow.
The Xenoceratops is adorned with two hooks jutting from its forehead. It has two massive spikes that rest at the top of its head and a frilly shield around its neck.
David Evans, a paleontologist at the Royal Ontario Museum, said the creature used its outlandish headgear to show dominance or impress the females.
Although three fragments of Xenoceratops’ skull were found in 1958, it was not until 2003 when Evans came across and picked up the pieces, literally, and began to unravel the mystery. It wasn’t long until they knew they were dealing with a completely new species.
A native to Canada, the Xenoceratops’ home is now scrubby woodlands filled with hoodoos and sandstone hills. It once used its birdlike beak to latch onto plants within Canada’s lush river systems.
The heaviest, largest and oldest discovered dino, Xenoceratops foremostensi, is certainly one for the books!