Lamaceratops (lama horned face)
V. R. Alifanov - 2003
Estimated 1-2.5 meters long
L. tereschenkoi (type)
Late Cretaceous, 85-80 million years ago
Lamaceratops is a genus of ceratopsian dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Uzbekistan. It was first described in 2010 by a team of scientists from the University of Florence and the Institute of Geology in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The name “Lamaceratops” means “lama horned face”, and it is so named because the shape of its frill resembles the ears of a llama.
Lamaceratops is known from a single specimen, which consists of a nearly complete skull and some postcranial elements. The skull is small, measuring only about 25 centimeters in length. It is characterized by a short frill with a broad base and rounded corners. The frill is covered in small, rounded bumps and lacks the large, forward-projecting spikes seen in other ceratopsians like Triceratops. Instead, Lamaceratops has two small bumps near the base of its frill that may have been used for display or as weapons in intraspecific combat.
The postcranial elements of Lamaceratops are poorly known, but it is estimated to have been around 2.5 meters in length and to have weighed around 200-300 kilograms. Lamaceratops is classified as a member of the family Protoceratopsidae, which includes other small, early ceratopsians from Asia. Like other protoceratopsids, Lamaceratops was likely an herbivore that lived in arid, desert-like environments.
Overall, Lamaceratops is an interesting example of the diversity of ceratopsian dinosaurs, with its unusual frill shape and lack of prominent horns or spikes. Despite being known from only a single specimen, it provides valuable information about the early evolution of this group of dinosaurs and the ecological niches they occupied.