Paleontologists in south Montana in North America have recently discovered the fossil of a horned dinosaur, which has a 3 inch long beaked skull and which they believe is the oldest proof ever of a horned dinosaur in the United States. Although it’s small, the skull of the dinosaur is helpful in filling the gaps in the history of horned creatures.
According to the paleontologists, this is the first horned dinosaur of the Early Cretaceous period (about 113 to 105 million years ago) which can be identified to its species. The end of that period was a time of essential diversification for dinosaurs with horns. The dinosaur, which is called Aquilops americanus, had a nose like a beak and sharply pointed cavities on its cheeks. The horny creature was probably the size of a crow.
The jaw and skull of Aquilops americanus were discovered by Scott Madsen back in the year 1977 in what is known as the Cloverly Formation of southern Montana.
Paleontologist Andrew Farke said, “Scott initially thought it was generic, plant-eating dinosaur but it turned out it was one of these early horned dinosaurs. That is a really exciting find.”
James I. Kirkland, the state paleontologist at the Utah Geological Survey said, “Up to this point, all that was known for horned dinosaurs were just isolated teeth and fragment bones. This new finding is the first one that allows us to say exactly what kinds of horned dinosaurs lived in North America about 108 million years ago.”