September 22nd, 2010
11:45 PM ET

Scientists find new dinosaurs related to Triceratops

Utahceratops gettyi was found in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Fossils of two new species of horned dinosaurs closely related to the Triceratops have been discovered in southern Utah, scientists revealed Wednesday.

The discovery of the new plant-eating species, which are believed to have areas known today as the western United States during the Late Cretaceous Period, was announced Wednesday in the online open-access journal PLoS ONE, produced by the Public Library of Science.

The bigger of the two new dinosaurs, with a skull about 7 feet long, is Utahceratops gettyi, whose name combines the state of origin with ceratops, Greek for ‚Äúhorned face.‚ÄĚ The second part of the name honors Mike Getty, paleontology collections manager at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the discoverer of this animal.

Kosmoceratops richardsoni

With 31 skull "ornamentations," including 15 horns, Kosmoceratops richardsoni¬†takes its name from the Latin word for "ornate." Its horns - located over the nose, atop each eye, at the tip of each cheek bone, and ten across the rear margin of the bony frill‚ÄĒmake it the most ornate-headed dinosaur known. The latter part of the name honors Scott Richardson, the volunteer who discovered two skulls of this animal.¬†

The newly discovered dinosaurs were inhabitants of the ‚Äúlost continent‚ÄĚ of Laramidia, the western portion of North America that formed when a shallow sea flooded the central region, isolating the eastern and western portions of the continent for millions of years during the Late Cretaceous Period.

Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops are the two latest species to be unearthed in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is proving to be a "treasure trove" for palenotologists in the new millenium, Mark Loewenof the Utah Museum of Natural History said.

Most of the dinosaurs that fill the North America's museums come from Alberta, Canada, but with most of the region thoroughly picked over, more and more new discoveries are coming out of southern North America.

"Every dinosaur we're finding is related to others we've already seen but a completely new species," said Loewen, a paleontologist who participated in the study. "We have to change our views on why they were living in the same time slice, but completely different from those living in Canada."

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Filed under: Animals • Utah
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. John B

    I saw this on TV first...and they showed a blue dinosaur. BLUE? Is it part smurf? I love the rendering done to show us what they probably looked like but BLUE?

    September 23, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. HJ

    I want a raptor in a space suit tatoo!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. michelle

    Great find but why don't they give it a middle name too so it can be named after the bank that financed the dig as well. It could be Utah Wells Fargo Getty!!! Come on, naming an ancients relic after a state and a manager! So full of ourselves.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • GreySpy

      How do you know the dig was financed by a bank? Volunteers work for free, and Mike and his staff are paid by the university. Also the common names of the dinos are not those of the two men that discovered them. The latin names are. If you were a scientist and discovered something big, like the cure for cancer or some theory that outweighs Einstein's, tell me you wouldn't name it after yourself. These two guys discovered the dinosaurs themselves while working in the field. They've dedicated their whole careers to paleontology, so they put in their time and labor. And you get caught up over the fact that the latin names reflect their names??

      September 23, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. cbm5042

    Creationists drive me insane. But one compelling argument which they cannot disprove and I haven't heard lies within embryo development.

    A fish, a chicken, a dog, and a human all look the EXACT same during early stages of development. They have gills, a tail, and appendage nubs. What this is, is a time machine which shows the traits and existence of a common ancestor. Now this time machine runs backwards...showing the oldest common ancestor DNA sequence and appearance, then having those ancient DNA and RNA segments switched off as the embryo develops.

    This has been proven countless times, always at the same stages in development. And this is because fish, chickens, dogs, and humans (just to name a very few) have a common ancestor and a common DNA pattern segment that has evolved.

    What would possibly be the creationist rebuttal to that?

    September 23, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      The sky-genie and his zombie son just have a messed up sense of humor thats all. They saddled up the jesus horses, rode them into battle, and then slaughtered them all along with all the other heathens in Sodom. Then, just for lols, they scattered the remains all around the world, did a little time dilation trick to f with us some more, and tada, here we are.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kurt

    Seems like the name could have used some more effort. I appreciate "gettyi" – it's nice to be honored, and this part is fitting. However, "Utahceratops"? If we translate everything – Ute and Greek, you get, "Horned Faced People of the Mountain." While this may be good for a book, the scientific implications are a bit like the verbal version of a platypus.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jill

    These comments are EPIC!!!
    And yes, I totally pictured a raptor in a space suit ūüėČ

    September 23, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. cbm5042

    What I don't understand is that since the bible has been written we have been able to disprove almost every single belief that people of that time, and even people as late as the 19th century believed. If evolution wasn't theorized until a few hundred years ago, how could the authors of the bible explain it?

    Its like spontaneous generation. It was widely held as fact. If you left a jar of rancid meat out flies would generate from it just a few days later. But oh oh, put a lid on the jar and it doesn't happen. Why? Because it isn't true. The authors of the bible believed in THESE sorts of things, so why would anyone accept their account of creation? It is no less ridiculous to think the earth is less than 10,000 years old than thinking flies generated out of rancid meat.

    Oh, AND the bible isn't even an original story. The Egyptian god Horus was the son of the primary deity, had 12 disciples, died, and was resurrected...come on its the same story but thousands of years older. Somebody explain this to me? I REALLY hope a pro-creationist comes out to defend.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. cowboy

    If the earth is only about 50,000 years old as we know it is; how are dinasaurs even possible?

    September 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • cbm5042

      The creationist argument is that the dating system for dinosaurs is flawed and that the bible writes about dinosaurs and man. What is actually does is describe a hippopotamus with a tail and a fire breathing crocodile lol. So its really ingenious because their argument is so simple its hard to form an argument because its so rudimentary...

      Scientist – Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago.
      Creationist – How do we know it was 65 million years ago.
      Scientist – Because fossil records and scientific dating using decay of isotopes tell us so.
      Creationist -But what if that's not accurate.
      Scientist – It is.
      Creationist -How can you know we haven't let an isotope decay over 6,000 years to see if the rate stays consistent. We have only known about this for a hundred years.
      Scientist – My mind is blown.

      Its so dumb, it almost makes sense. It also would let anyone disprove anything all the time, and completely render scientific facts useless.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thorrsman

      Where do you get the 50,000 year figure? The tiny minority of Young Earth fanatics–and the large number of Atheists who quote them–usually come up with between 6 and 10 thousands years by counting backwards from Jesus (The Year Zero as they view it) through all the "begats" of their Bible. Scientific estimates keep changing, but the most recent is somewhere around 4.5 billion years (give or take a few tens of millions of years). What is your source?

      September 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    The dig was inpart paid for by the BLM, and in part by the U of U.
    Mike Getty and Scott Richardson did NOT name the dinosaurs after themselves but Drs. Sampson and Lowen did the discribing and nameing to hournor them. The work of excavating and preparing the fossils was done mostly by volunteers with Mike's Supervison. I am proud to say that I am one of those volunteers, and it was a great honor for Mike and Scott to have these dinosaurs named for them. They earned it.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. john G

    Its funny how far off subject these get from the news story posted,and all the hate ,Stop ! i see u

    September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jo Cappeto

    Ross has always been my favorite character on friends!

    P.S. Do you think this find heralds the release of a 20th "Land Before Time" movie???

    September 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pliny

    A ufo almost landed at O'Hare Airport.

    It was then diverted to Midway.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WaaaayOffTheTrail

    Just wanted to correct the error in my post. Mike Getty is not a PhD yet, but I'd wager there's at least one honorary doctorate in his future. His CV is online – he has a Master's.

    It's a shame how attention-seekers focus their comments on their creationism argument, attempting to negate or demean Mike's ongoing achievements.

    Men never tend to do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious convictions. ‚ÄďPascal in Pans√®es

    Intelligent design is not a testable theory in any sense and as such it is not accepted by the scientific community. -Kenneth Miller, PhD., Brown University faculty

    The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. -Krishnamurti, 'The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader'

    In the realm of human destiny, the depth of man‚Äôs questioning is more important than his answers. ‚ÄďAndre Malraux

    September 23, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. monica mata

    that so cool that they found that

    September 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Don Dudding

    Good thing they're all dead (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kd61qqByOo)

    September 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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