A Harrisburg University of Science and Technology professor is part of a research team that has named and described a new horned dinosaur discovered in New Mexico.
Steven Jasinski, of Harrisburg University’s Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability, and other researchers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and the University of Pennsylvania, have named the dinosaur species Menefeeceratops sealeyi.
“Menefeeceratops not only provides us more data on the variety of horned dinosaurs that were alive, but potentially, and more importantly, it represents the oldest known member of a group of dinosaurs known as the centrosaurine ceratopsids while further suggesting these dinosaurs evolved to the south, potentially in the southwestern United States, and later migrated farther north before giving rise to dinosaurs such as Styracosaurus,” Jasinski said. “We as scientists are excited to see what the next piece of this puzzle turns out to be.”
With a frilled head and beaked face, Menefeeceratops sealeyi lived 82 million years ago, predating its famous relative, Triceratops, according to a paper Jasinski and his team recently published regarding their discovery.
is an abstract from the paper, titled, “The oldest centrosaurine: a new ceratopsid dinosaur (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae) from the Allison Member of the Menefee Formation (Upper Cretaceous, early Campanian), northwestern New Mexico, USA:
“Although it was originally described over two decades ago, newly prepared portions of the Menefee Formation skeleton and reinterpretations of previously known morphology, in addition to newly described specimens have provided new information on ceratopsids, and centrosaurines in particular. These new data allow for a thorough reassessment of the specimen and the erection of a new taxon: Menefeeceratops sealeyi gen. et sp. nov., potentially the oldest recognized member of Centrosaurinae.”
Jasinski collaborated on the work with renowned dinosaur paleontologist Peter Dodson of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Penn Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. The research was led by Sebastian Dalman of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Spencer Lucas and Asher Lichtig of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque were also part of the research team.
The fossil specimen of the new species, including multiple bones from one individual, was originally discovered in 1996 by Paul Sealey, a research associate of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, in Cretaceous rocks of the Menefee Formation in northwestern New Mexico.
A field crew from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science collected the specimen. Tom Williamson of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science briefly described it the following year, and recent research on other ceratopsid dinosaurs and further preparation of the specimen shed important new light on the fossils.
To read Jasinski and his team’s paper, visit this link.
Dalman, S.G., Lucas, S.G., Jasinski, S.E. et al. The oldest centrosaurine: a new ceratopsid dinosaur (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae) from the Allison Member of the Menefee Formation (Upper Cretaceous, early Campanian), northwestern New Mexico, USA. PalZ 95, 291–335 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-021-00555-w
- Received: 30 April 2020
- Accepted: 09 March 2021
- Published: 10 May 2021
- Issue Date: June 2021
ABOUT HARRISBURG UNIVERSITY
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private nonprofit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717-901-5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu. Follow on Twitter (@HarrisburgU) and Facebook (Facebook.com/HarrisburgU).