Thursday, June 19, 2014 – An interesting and ornate new herbivorous dinosaur from the late Cretaceous has been announced by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Mercuriceratops, meaning ‘Mercury horned-face,’ features a pronounced angel wing-like ornamentation on its head, resembling the wings on the helmet of the Roman god, Mercury.
“Mercuriceratops took a unique evolutionary path that shaped the large frill on the back of its skull into protruding wings like the decorative fins on classic 1950s cars. It definitively would have stood out from the herd during the Late Cretaceous,” said lead author Dr. Michael Ryan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Specimens were found in north central Montana and the Dinosaur Provincial Park, in Alberta, Canada. Per the press release, “research describing the new species is published online in the journal Naturwissenschaften.” The new dinosaur is described from skull fragments and is estimated to weigh 2 tons and measure approximately 20 ft in length.