Dig of the Week: New Horned Dinosaur, Crittendenceratops, Uncovered in Arizona


By Carla Charter

ARIZONA-When many think of Arizona, they think of deserts and hot dry weather. However when the dinosaurs roamed the state, including a newly discovered dinosaur called the Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii, the state was much different.

“Arizona was much different than it was today. At that time Arizona was part of Northern South America There were jungles, it was tropical. Arizona was much closer to the sea and the equator than it is now, said Spencer G. Lucas, Curator of Geology and Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The newly discovered Crittendenceratops was named after the Fort Crittendoin rock formation where the fossils were originally found and ceratops Greek for horned dinosaur. The dinosaur’s second name is after the late Stan Krzyzanowski who discovered the dinosaur’s fossils.

The Crittendenceratop is related to the triceratops. The animal’s head shield and horn were different than that of other triceratops. This dinosaur was 12 feet long and might have weighed a ton or two. It was a herbivore, a plant eater. Other triceratops lived in herds, this is the only type of this dinosaur that has been found so we do not know if it was part of a herd. It is one of only a few dinosaurs which have been uncovered in Arizona Lucas said.  No immediate plans to display the fossil have yet been made.