STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 November 2012

Wicked Curves

©Nobu Tamura
Discovered by Donald DeBlieux in 2002 (which rhymes just a little), Diabloceratops eatoni was named and described in a paper published in 2010 by DeBlieux and James Kirkland; Kirkland had the lead authorship on the paper. The specific name is in honor of Jeffrey Eaton, a paleontologist, and the genus name was taken from the "devil horns" of the skull. As a Centrosaurine Ceratopsian, Diabloceratops is a slightly smaller dinosaur than animals like the later Triceratops, a Chasmosaurine.What DeBlieux uncovered in the Utah "badlands" of Grand Staircase National Monument was a partial skull with the wickedly curving horns and a part of the lower jaw; the typical amount of skeleton that is usually associated with Ceratopsian digs (larger amounts of partial skeletons have been found, do not take that to mean all we ever find of Ceratopsians is their head). Kirkland noted that Diabloceratops is an extremely early Ceratopsid with many Protoceratopsid anatomical markers in the skull; perhaps even more Protoceratopsid markers than true Ceratopsian markers including fenestrations which would later close or disappear in geologically younger genera and species.

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