ANCIENT HISTORY

Scientists just discovered the Wendiceratops, the Triceratops’ cooler cousin

The creation of a terrifying, genetically modified dinosaur in Jurassic World proved to be a commercial hit, with the movie grossing $500 million in its opening weekend, the most lucrative in history.

Yet, sometimes, the real science is just as cool as Hollywood.

Two paleontologists have uncovered a new horned dinosaur, the Wendiceratops pinhornensis, which hails from the same family as the Triceratops, its more famous cousin.

They describe the results of their research in a paper published in the journal Plos One. The Wendiceratops most notable feature was a frill, or ruffle, that protrudes from its neck.

“The frill is sort of ornamented by a pretty spectacular wave of gnarly hooks that project forward,” Dr. David Evans, one of the paleontologists, told NPR.

The purpose of these hooks was probably to attract potential female suitors, explained Dr. Michel Ryan in the same interview.

“The horned dinosaur with the biggest horns may have been able to out-compete its rivals to control the biggest harem for breeding purposes,” Ryan said.

Accompanying the frill’s “gnarly hooks” were two horns that rose above its eyes and a third atop its nose.

The dinosaur was named after the dinosaur hunter Wendy Sloboda,who discovered the bone bed in southern Alberta, Canada where the scientists found the Wendiceratops.

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