STL Science Center

STL Science Center

12 August 2014

The Written Works of Leptoceratops

Paleontology has looked kindly upon Leptoceratops in the past. I sure that there are at least two parts to that phenomenon: 1) Leptoceratops is a ceratopsian and they always seem to capture interest and 2) Leptoceratops is a protoceratopsian-like creature but is in a very advanced position within that branch of ceratopsians. Regardless, a lot of papers have been written about Leptoceratops or its familial affiliations. Some of the best ones involve skeletal reconstruction and a fairly in depth discussion of the dinosaur by John Ostrom. Ostrom's description of Leptoceratops is not anywhere near as in depth as his description of Deinonychus, however, it is still well written and nicely detailed. There is also a paper, more widely encompassing Ceratopsia, that discusses Leptoceratops and the ceratopsian syncervical and how understanding its structure helps to understand the structures of the anterior cervical region of basal amniotes. This paper is a little closer to a "read it or you'll never understand it" than is usually presented here. However, as I usually state on Tuesdays, the most entertaining, but not always the most informative, papers are the original naming and describing papers that were published. Sometimes that is because of the antiquated language used and sometimes it is because of the imagination displayed by the author(s). This week, Barnum Brown's description of Leptoceratops is available to read. It includes many illustrations of the bones (see left) in addition to his detailed description of the remains.

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