20 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 20

Ooh, look at Mr Fancy Frill and his secondary sex
 characteristics! Aren't we all
sooooo impressed! 
Name: Kosmoceratops richardsoni
Meaning: [discoverer Scott] Richardson's ornamental horned face
Time: Late Cretaceous, c 76 million years ago
Place: Utah
Size: about 4.5 metres (14.8 feet) long
Type of Dinosaur: chasmosaurine ceratopsid ('long-frilled' horned dinosaur)

The horned dinosaurs are well known for their elaborate horns, spikes, and frills, and Kosmoceratops is one of the most elaborate of them all. This ceratopsian had peculiar horns that seem much better suited to display than combat. The nose horn is compressed and rectangular with a blunted tip and set far back on the snout, while the fairly short brow horns curve off to the side of the face rather than pointing forward. The frill is adorned with many spikes, and its top margin has long spikes that curve downwards and make a sort of fringe. The appearance of Kosmoceratops's bizarre face is strong support for the idea that ceratopsians' horns, frills, and spikes are predominantly evolved as features for display - to intimidate enemies and rivals or to attract potential mates - more than as combative weapons.

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