Vagaceratops

Name: Vagaceratops ‭(‬Wandering horned face‭)‬.
Phonetic: Va-ga-seh-rah-tops.
Named By: Scott D.‭ ‬Sampson,‭ ‬Mark A.‭ ‬Loewen,‭ ‬Andrew A.‭ ‬Farke,‭ ‬Eric M.‭ ‬Roberts,‭ ‬Catherine A.‭ ‬Forster,‭ ‬Joshua A.‭ ‬Smith,‭ & ‬Alan L.‭ ‬Titus‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.
Synonyms: Chasmosaurus irvinensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ceratopsia,‭ ‬Ceratopsidae,‭ ‬Chasmosaurinae.
Species: V.‭ ‬irvinensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Up to‭ ‬6‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Alberta‭ ‬-‭ ‬Dinosaur Park Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and post cranial remains.

       The material of Vagaceratops was first removed from its block in‭ ‬2001‭ ‬when palaontologists identified it as a species of Chasmosaurus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬irvinensis.‭ ‬Further study in‭ ‬2010‭ ‬however revealed it to be different enough to give it its own genus.‭ ‬Normal procedure for this occurrence is to take the specific species name of the original description,‭ ‬this case irvinensis,‭ ‬and apply it to the newly created genus to establish the type species,‭ ‬here resulting in Vagaceratops irvinensis.
       Vagaceratops was similar to other chasmosaurine ceratopsians in that it had a comparatively long neck frill and reduced horns.‭ ‬However Vagaceratops itself has been used in reconstructions to test how ceratopsian dinosaurs actually stood.‭ ‬Palaeontologists have proposed a sprawling stance where the arms extend outwards like a lizards,‭ ‬to a more pillar-like arrangement where they support the body from underneath.‭ ‬Computer modelling in‭ ‬2007‭ ‬by Alex Tirabasso demonstrated that the legs were actually most efficient when in an intermediate position between these two classically held reconstructions.‭ ‬This intermediate form allows for better weight bearing potential while also providing a greater deal of flexibility when feeding and moving.

Further reading
- A new species of Chasmosaurus (Dinosauria: Ceratopsia) from the Dinosaur Park Formation of southern Alberta. - Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 38: 1423–1438. - R. B. Holmes, C. A. Forster, M. J. Ryan & K. M. Shepherd - 2001.
- New Horned Dinosaurs from Utah Provide Evidence for Intracontinental Dinosaur Endemism". PLoS ONE 5 (9): e12292. - Scott D. Sampson, Mark A. Loewen, Andrew A. Farke, Eric M. Roberts, Catherine A. Forster, Joshua A. Smith & Alan L. Titus - 2010.




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