SALT LAKE CITY — Scientists said yesterday that they’ve discovered fossils in the southern Utah desert of two new dinosaur species closely related to the triceratops, including one with 15 horns on its large head.
The discovery of the new plant-eating species — including Kosmoceratops richardsoni, considered the most ornate-headed dinosaur known to man — was reported yesterday in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE, produced by the Public Library of Science.
The other dinosaur, which had five horns and was the larger of the two, was dubbed Utahceratops gettyi.
“It’s not every day that you find two rhino-sized dinosaurs that are different from all the other dinosaurs found in North America,’’ said Mark Loewen, a Utah Museum of Natural History paleontologist and an author of the paper published in PLoS ONE.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been a hotbed for dinosaur species discoveries in the past decade, with more than a dozen new species discovered.
The Utahceratops had a large horn over the nose and short eye horns that projected to the side, similar to a bison. Its skull was about 7 feet long. It stood about 6 feet high and was 18 to 22 feet long. It is believed to have weighed about 3 to 4 tons.
The Kosmoceratops had similar facial features to the Utahceratops, but had 10 horns across the rear margin of its bony frill that pointed downward and outward. It probably weighed about 2.5 tons and was about 15 feet long.