STL Science Center

STL Science Center

06 July 2012

Eini Minie Moe

©James Gurney and courtesy of USPS
Einiosaurus. Welcome to July. Einiosaurus procurvicornis, meaning, all together, "Buffalo Lizard forward curving horn" (in Blackfoot, Latin, and Greek) was a centrosaurine ceratopsian known only from Montana in a small span of time from 74.5 to 74 million years ago. Unearthed in the 1980's originally it is the type of dinosaur that embodies the very idea of a conundrum; at least two theories exist concerning its placement in the dinosaur family tree and the evolutionary significance of the species in relation to other ceratopsians. Einiosaurus does, however, most assuredly fit into the category of centrosaurine dinosaurs, ceratopsians with short to medium sized frills originating in the rearmost area of the skull. Einiosaurus possessed one large forward curving nasal horn for sure, but may have possessed only small protrusions or simply rounded knobs supraorbitally, compared to the well known supraorbital horns dinosaurs such as Triceratops. Ceratopsids are some of my favorite dinosaurs (I love the entire clade of Marginocephalians on par with the Maniraptoriformes these days) so expect me to have a lot to say this week as long as I can get to the internet! I say that only because I'm in the process of packing up for my move to Kansas to begin my MSc in Biology, stop number one on the way to being a "professional" paleontologist!

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