Thursday, 23 September 2010

2010 - The Year of the Ceratopsia

I try not to jump on the paleo-blogosphere bandwagon when there is a media explosion regarding the announcement of new dinosaurian taxa. But this time I will make an exception and make no apologies for doing so!

Since I had the privilege of chatting to Scott Sampson over dinner at SVP in Bristol, I have been waiting for the official media and journal release of these spectacular chasmosaurines. I know I’ve blogged about it before, but I cannot emphasise enough how generous Scott was in revealing so much information to both myself and Scott Moore-Faye, then the senior preparator at the British Museum of Natural History.

At that time, the chasmosaurs were known as “Taxon A” and "Taxon B”. We now know that these are Kosmoceratops richardsoni and Utahceratops gettyi and what spectacular animals they are! I won’t go into great detail about them since there is a wealth of information on so many blogs, websites and forums already and the paper is freely available at PLoS ONE.

2010 is certainly the year of the ceratopsia. A multitude of new taxa announced, the magnificent tome that is New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs and I know of several other new taxa to be published in the next few years. Absolutely amazing. This highlights just how very little we do actually know about the dinosaurs as a whole but things are slowly coming together. It’s a great time to be involved in dinosaur palaeontology – especially for students of ceratopsians just now.

Congratulations must go to Scott and his team for a job well done and we all look forward to their next revelations.


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