Zuniceratops (Zuni-horned face)

Short Info

Zuniceratops (Zuni-horned face)

Phonetic : Zoo-nee-ceh-ra-tops.

Named By : Douglas G. Wolfe and James I. Kirkland – 1998

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 3.5 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Ceratopsian

Type Species : Z. christopheri

Found in : U.S.A., New Mexico, Moreno Hill Formation

When it Lived : Late Cretaceous, 94-89 million years ago

Zuniceratops (‘Zuni-horned face’) was a ceratopsian dinosaur that lived in the middle Turonian in the Late Cretaceous Period of what is currently New Mexico, United States. It was about 10 million years before the more common skull-shaped Ceratopsidae and offers a significant insight into their ancestry.


ZuniceratopsArizonaMWAK, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


Zuniceratops measured around 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) in length. It is believed to weigh around 175 kilograms (386 lbs) that is smaller than the majority of ceratopsids. The skull is well-developed. pair of brow horns like those found in the chasmosaurs and early centrosaurs however the horn for the nose is absent. Horns on the brow are believed to have gotten larger as they grew older. The snout is low and long as is the case with the chasmosaurines. The frill was thin broad shield-like structure. It was adorned with a pair large holes , but did not have bones in the epoccipital region, like Protoceratops. The overall anatomy is far more primitive than the ceratopsids but is more advanced than protoceratopsids.

Zuniceratops was first discovered in the year 1996 by eight-year-old Christopher James Wolfe, son of paleontologist Douglas G. Wolfe, located in the Moreno Hill Formation in west-central New Mexico. One skull as well as the bones of multiple individuals were found. Recently, a bone, thought as a squamosal was later discovered as an ischium from an Nothronychus.

Source: Wikipedia