New dinosaur species found in Montana

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 20, 2024

The Natural History Museum of Utah has announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur, which was discovered right here in the Treasure State.

It's called Lokiceratops Rangiformis. The name means “Loki’s horned face that looks like a caribou.” It is inspired by the distinctive horn pattern similar to the Norse god Loki as portrayed in comic books.

The fossil remains were found in northern Montana's famous Badlands near the Canadian border in 2019. Details about the Lokiceratops discovery have been published in the scientific journal PeerJ.

Artwork by Fabrizio Lavezzi © Evolutionsmuseet, Knuthenborg

The fossil is on display at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Paleontologists studying Lokiceratops say the species inhabited swamps and floodplains in Laramidia more than 78 million years ago.

“This new dinosaur pushes the envelope on bizarre ceratopsian headgear, sporting the largest frill horns ever seen in a ceratopsian,” said Joseph Sertich, a paleontologist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Colorado State University, and co-leader of the study. “These skull ornaments are one of the keys to unlocking horned dinosaur diversity and demonstrate that evolutionary selection for showy displays contributed to the dizzying richness of Cretaceous ecosystems.”

Learn more about Lokiceratops at the Natural History Museum of Utah,