Episode 112 is all about Diabloceratops, a ceratopsian with two large horns coming out of its frill that are the “devil horns”.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- The dinosaur of the day: Diabloceratops
- Name means “devil horned face”
- Has two large horns coming out of its neck frill that are the “devil horns”
- A centrosaurine ceratopsian that lived in the Cretaceous in what is now Utah
- Jim Kirkland and Donald DeBlieux named Diabloceratops in 2010
- Type species is Diabloceratops eatoni
- Species name in honor of Jeffrey Eaton, a paleontologist and friend of Jim Kirkland
- Jeffrey Eaton specializes in mammals, and has decided not to study a few dinosaurs to study fossil mammal specimens that lived alongside dinsoaurs, so Kirkland “got back at him” by naming a dinosaur after him
- Type specimen found in 2002 by Don DeBlieux, at Last Chance Creek in the Wahweap Formation in Utah (partial skull, with part of the lower jaw), nicknamed the Last Chance skull
- Two specimens (potentially) have been found
- Last Chance skull is about 3 ft (1 m) long
- Took more than 700 hours to prepare the “Last Chance” skull
- When it was discovered, it was the oldest known ceratopsid
- Skull has an accessory skull opening, which was common in basal ceratopsians, but disappeared in later ceratopsians (means skull opening used to be in all ceratopsians)
- A second skull has been found that is similar to the “Last Chance” specimen, but it’s not clear if they’re the same species (may be Diabloceratops)
- Had a deep, short skull
- Had long spikes on its frill
- Had a large neck frill, small nasal horn, and may have had a second horn in front of that
- Also had small horns above its eyes
- Both specimens are at the Natural History Museum of Utah
- Ceratopsians were ornithiscians
- Lived in North America and Asia
- They had beaks and cheek teeth to eat fiberous vegetation
- Also had a frill (used for defense, regulating body temperature, attracting mates, or signaling danger)
- Probably traveled in herds and could then stampede if threatened
- Fun fact: When paleontologists talk about “reptiles” they often use the word “diapsid” instead. That’s because it’s a nice “monophyletic” group; unlike reptiles which doesn’t include all ancestors (especially birds). Diapsid literally means “two arches” referring to the ancestral two holes in their skull which may allow for stronger jaw muscles.
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