103mn-yr-old first horned dino identified in South Korea

December 7th, 2010 - 6:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 7 (ANI): An international team of scientists has identified a new horned dinosaur that lived about 103 million years ago, in South Korea.

The newly identified genus, Koreaceratops hwaseongensis, lived during the late Early Cretaceous period. It is the first specimen of the Ceratopsian dinosaur found in the Korean peninsula.

The partial skeleton includes a significant portion of the animal’s backbone, hip bone, partial hind limbs and a nearly complete tail.

The Koreaceratops hwaseongensis is named for Korea and Hwaseong City, which yielded the fossil. It was discovered in 2008 in a block of rock along the Tando Basin reservoir. It is one of the first articulated dinosaurs known from Korea.

“This is a rare find,” said Michael J. Ryan of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, who co-authored the research.

“Fossils of dinosaurs have not typically been found in this region, whereas evidence of dinosaur eggs and footprints occur more commonly. This specimen is significant because it fills in a missing 20 million-year gap in the fossil record between the origin of these dinosaurs in Asia and their first appearance in North America,” said Ryan.

At approximately 5 to 6 feet long and weighing about 60 to 100 pounds, the animal was relatively small compared to the geologically younger, giant relatives like Triceratops found in North America.

The results were published in the journal Naturwissenchaften: The Science of Nature. (ANI)

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