Agujaceratops

Name: Agujaceratops ‭(‬Aguja horned face‭)‬.
Phonetic: A-gu-ha-seh-rah-tops.
Named By: Spencer G.‭ ‬Lucas,‭ ‬Robert M.‭ ‬Sullivan and Adrian Hunt‭ ‬-‭ ‬2006.
Synonyms: Chasmosaurus mariscalensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ceratopsia,‭ ‬Ceratopsidae,‭ ‬Chasmosaurinae.
Species: A.‭ ‬mariscalensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains.
Known locations: USA‭ ‬-‭ ‬Texas‭ ‬-‭ ‬Aguja Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Based upon a partial skull including the brain case,‭ ‬horn foundation,‭ ‬left maxilla‭ (‬upper jaw‭) ‬and right dentary‭ (‬lower jaw‭)‬.‭ ‬Further remains have since been inferred to the genus.

       Agujaceratops originally started out as being assigned as a species to the genus Chasmosaurus,‭ ‬another and more common Campanian era ceratospian dinosaur.‭ ‬However closer analysis by Lucas,‭ ‬Sullivan and Hunt in‭ ‬2006‭ ‬of a partial skull revealed key differences between it and other Chasmosaurus fossils.‭ ‬This led to the material being removed from Chasmosaurus and established as a unique genus,‭ ‬though the original species name of mariscalensis was retained to create the new type species of Agujaceratops mariscalensis in keeping with standardised renaming guidelines.‭ ‬The genus name is inspired by the Aguja Formation where the original holotype was recovered from a bone bed of remains,‭ ‬combined with‭ ‘‬ceratops‭’ ‬which in Ancient Greek means horned face.‭ ‬The species name of mariscalensis literally translates to English as‭ ‘‬from Mariscal‭’‬.‭ ‬Since the holotype was described,‭ ‬further fragmentary remains have been assigned to the genus.
       Other dinosaurs of the Aguja Formation that Agujaceratops likely shared its habitat with include its relative Chasmosaurus,‭ ‬as well as the armoured dinosaurs Edmontonia and Euoplocephalus as well as the hadrosaurid Angulomastacator amongst others.‭ ‬Predatory dinosaur remains from this formation are mostly smaller theropods such as Saurornitholestes and Richardostesia.‭ ‬These dinosaurs probably wouldn’t have been a serious threat to Agujaceratops,‭ ‬and most likely hunted other similarly sized dinosaurs that were easier targets.
       One very serious threat did however live in the Aguja Formation,‭ ‬and this was the fearsome Deinosuchus,‭ ‬a giant crocodile with a reputation for taking on tyrannosaurs that could have potentially dragged an Agujaceratops into the water where it could be drowned before being eaten.‭ ‬Not only was Deinosuchus the biggest predator so far discovered in the Aguja Formation,‭ ‬but the presence of a semi-aquatic crocodile combined with the fossils of turtles and ammonites reveals that Agujaceratops probably lived in coastal wetlands that would have been near the coastline of the Western Interior Seaway,‭ ‬a shallow sea that submerged much of central North America during the Cretaceous.






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