Wendiceratops

Name: Wendiceratops ‭(‬Wendy’s horn face‭)‬.
Phonetic: Wen-de-seh-rah-tops.
Named By: David C.‭ ‬Evans‭ & ‬Michael J.‭ ‬Ryan‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Marginocephalia,‭ ‬Ceratopsidae,‭ ‬Centrosaurinae.
Species: W.‭ ‬pinhornensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Roughly estimated to be about‭ ‬6‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Alberta‭ ‬-‭ ‬Oldman Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and post cranial skeletal remains from several individuals,‭ ‬including adults and juveniles.‭ ‬The first remains were found together in a bone bed.

       A very interesting discovery,‭ ‬Wendiceratops has been identified as one of the oldest centrosaurine ceratopsian dinosaurs so far discovered.‭ ‬At the time of writing only Xenoceratops and Diabloceratops are known to have been older.‭ ‬So far much of what we know‭ ‬about Wendiceratops has been pieced together by fragmentary and partial remains,‭ ‬but these do show us interesting developments in the head ornamentation.‭ ‬Like most ceratopsian genera,‭ ‬Wendiceratops had large triangular‭ ‬osteoderms that were attached to the‭ ‬edges of the neck frill,‭ ‬which are larger as they approached the top.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬the further up they went,‭ ‬the more they curved around and down.‭ ‬The nasal horn also seems to have been fairly low and blunt,‭ ‬yet still quite large in its development.‭ ‬Brow horns are expected to have been present above the eyes,‭ ‬but so far no complete horns have been found,‭ ‬so their size and shape can so far only be guessed at.‭ ‬In comparison to other ceratopsian dinosaurs,‭ ‬the ornamentation of Wendiceratops seems to be most similar to that of Sinoceratops from China.‭ ‬The discovery of Wendiceratops has helped to reinforce the idea that the ceratopsian dinosaurs were very quickly evolving ever more changing head ornamentation,‭ ‬most probably to more easily tell one species from the next.
       By the‭ ‬2015‭ ‬naming of Wendiceratops,‭ ‬this genus is now one of five separate ceratopsian dinosaur genera that are known from this part of North America during the Campanian,‭ ‬with the other ceratopsian dinosaur genera including,‭ ‬Albertaceratops,‭ ‬Avaceratops,‭ ‬Judiceratops and Medusaceratops.‭ ‬Ceratopsians would have been some of the principal herbivorous dinosaurs in North America‭ ‬at this time,‭ ‬though hadrosaurs would have also been present,‭ ‬with genera such as Brachylophosaurus,‭ ‬Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus possibly sharing the same landscapes as Wendiceratops.‭ ‬Predatory threats to all these dinosaurs would have come from the large tyrannosaurs,‭ ‬specifically genera such as Daspletosaurus.‭ ‬Smaller predators such as dromaeosaurs and troodonts would have also been common,‭ ‬but perhaps more of a threat to smaller juveniles.
       Wendiceratops was named in honour of Wendy Sloboda,‭ ‬the fossil hunter who first discovered the bonebed that the holotype fossils of this dinosaur were later found in‭ ‬2010,‭ ‬though most fossils from this location were not recovered until‭ ‬2013-2014‭ ‬after the overburden‭ (‬the rock and soil above the deposit‭) ‬was removed.‭ ‬The species name pinhornensis simply means that the holotype of the type species of the genus came from the Pinhorn Provincial Grazing Reserve.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Cranial anatomy of Wendiceratops pinhornensis gen.‭ ‬et sp.‭ ‬nov.,‭ ‬a centrosaurine ceratopsid‭ (‬Dinosauria:‭ ‬Ornithischia‭) ‬from the Oldman Formation‭ (‬Campanian‭)‬,‭ ‬Alberta,‭ ‬Canada,‭ ‬and the evolution of ceratopsid nasal ornamentation.‭ ‬-‭ ‬PLoS ONE‭ ‬10‭(‬7‭)‬.‭ ‬-‭ ‬David C.‭ ‬Evans‭ & ‬Michael J.‭ ‬Ryan‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



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