(Alien horned face).
Named By: M. J. Ryan, D. C. Evans & K. M. Shepherd - 2012.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Ceratopsia, Ceratopsidae, Centrosaurinae.
Species: X. foremostensis (type).
Size: Estimated around 6 meters long, but lack of remains make this figure open to change.
Known locations: Canada, Alberta - Foremost Formation.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial frill and horn material of what seems to be from at least three individuals.
from remains that were recovered from a bone bed, Xenoceratops
labelled by some writers as the ancestor to the world famous
In actuality however Xenoceratops is considered to
member of the centrosaurinae, one of the two main groups of
dinosaurs that include the small frilled but large/many
horned varieties of these distinctive dinosaurs. Triceratops
contrast is believed to have had its ancestral origins within the
chasmosaurine group. However, because Xenoceratops
described upon very incomplete fossil material, further discoveries,
if they happen, may lead palaeontologists to think in a different
The actual importance of Xenoceratops actually comes from the fact that it comes from a seventy-eight million year old deposit. At the time of its discovery (and writing of this article) this makes Xenoceratops the oldest known horned dinosaur from Canada. Xenoceratops is not however the oldest known horned dinosaur from North America, that title is held by Zuniceratops from the United States.
The genus name Xenoceratops loosely translates as ‘alien horned face’ while the species name means ‘from Foremost’, a nearby village where the type remains were discovered.
A new ceratopsid from the Foremost Formation (middle Campanian) of Alberta, M. J. Ryan, D. C. Evans, K. M. Shepherd - 2012.