Name: Koreaceratops ‭(‬Korea horn face‭)‬.
Phonetic: Koe-ree-ah-seh-rah-tops.
Named By: Yuong-Nam Lee,‭ ‬Michael J.‭ ‬Ryan‭ & ‬Yoshitsugo Kobayashi‭ ‬-‭ ‬2011.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ceratopsia.
Species: K.‭ ‬hwaseongensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Uncertain due to incomplete remains.
Known locations: South Korea‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tando Basin.
Time period: Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Articulated caudal‭ (‬tail‭) ‬vertebrae,‭ ‬ischia and partial hind limbs.

       Koreaceratops made headlines in‭ ‬2011‭ ‬for two reasons,‭ ‬the first being that this was the first ceratopsian dinosaur to be discovered in South Korea.‭ ‬The second is the theory that Koreaceratops may have been semi aquatic.‭ ‬The latter is idea is based upon the observation of the tall neural spines of the recovered tail vertebrae which are over five times higher than the centra‭ (‬the round part of the vertebra that encloses the spinal cord‭)‬,‭ ‬and it seems reasonable that they would have supported a growth that resulted in a broad laterally compressed‭ (‬thin when viewed from above‭) ‬tail of the kind that is commonly seen in creatures that use their tail for swimming.

       However while the idea that Koreaceratops spent time swimming in the water is a very interesting,‭ ‬and plausible one,‭ ‬wider study of ceratopsians may yield a more commonly accepted explanation.‭ ‬Many of the basal ceratopsians had deep tails,‭ ‬although not all to the same extent as Koreaceratops,‭ ‬and some remains have even revealed the presence of quill-like structures that would have risen up from the tail,‭ ‬giving the impression that it was even larger than it really was.‭
       This has resulted in the popular notion that while later and advanced ceratopsians used their neck frills and horns for display,‭ ‬the earlier and even later surviving primitive forms relied upon their tails and any ornamentation on them to do the same purpose.‭ ‬Additionally it is worth noting that there is fossil evidence to suggest that at least some of the later large ceratopsians,‭ ‬including the most famous one of all Triceratops,‭ ‬may have actually retained these quill structures.‭ ‬More specimens of Koreaceratops and similar basal ceratopsians would allow for a more complete picture to be pieced together,‭ ‬but it’s not inconceivable that a structure that was developed for the purpose of display may have ended up being adapted to serve a practical purpose.
       The type specimen of Koreaceratops was first discovered in‭ ‬2008‭ ‬when an official noted the remains in a sandstone block that had been used in the construction of the Tando dam of Hwaseong City.‭ ‬However it seems that when the block was extracted,‭ ‬it was cut in a way that only the hind portion of the specimen was recovered.‭ ‬The fate of the rest of the skeleton as well as exactly how much more is still missing remains uncertain.‭ ‬Despite the lack of the other remains,‭ ‬Koreaceratops is thought to be similar to other forms like Archaeoceratops.‭ ‬The species name of K.‭ ‬hwaseongensis means‭ ‘‬from Hwaseong‭’‬,‭ ‬after the city where the type specimen remains were found.

Further reading
- The first ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea. - Naturwissenschaften. - Y.-N. Lee, M. J. Ryan & Y. Kobayashi - 2011.


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