New Species of Dinosaur Discovered

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
By Samantha

Photo credits: Scott Sampson. "Skeletal elements recovered for Utahceratops gettyi n. gen et n. sp. and Kosmoceratops richardsoni n. gen et n. sp."

Do you like dinosaurs? Well, if you do, this is the article for you. Scientists just made a significant discovery and advance in paleontology, because in recent discoveries, two new species of horned dinosaurs were found. Their names are the Utahceratops gettyi and the Kosmoceratops richardsoni.

The fossils of these dinosaurs were found in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is a huge region in Utah that covers about 1.9 million acres of American land. One interesting fact about The Grand Staircase-Escalate National Park is that all the dinosaur fossils found there were new to science. They were not found anywhere else in the world. Because of this great new discovery, scientists all over the world became inspired to search there for more fossils here, and now, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is considered to be one of the most prestigious “paleontological reserves in the world.”

The Utahceratops gettyi is thought to be 22 feet long, 6 feet tall, and the Kosmoceratops richardsoni is thought to be 15 feet long. As you could see, the Utahceratops gettyi was bigger than the Kosmoceratops richardsoni . They are both plant eaters, omnivores, and paleontologists suggest that the horns on these two dinosaurs’ head were for attracting mates, or  looking intimidating when it comes to fights with other dinosaurs. The Kosmoceratops richardsoni had as many as 15 horns on its head. Because of these horns, the dinosaurs might have been a relative of the Triceratops, and scientists have determined that these two species of dinosaurs lived on a continent called Laramidia, which no longer exists, more than 76 million years ago.  Laramida was only one fifth the size of North America, and was formed when high ocean levels flooded North America and caused a seaway in the middle of the continent. The other side of the continent was called Appalachia, and the two regions were separated for more than 30 million years. The climate on Laramidia was very warm, and it never got cold in the winters. It was not considered to be tropical, because Laramidia experienced different seasons.

Here is a very informing video about these two dinosaurs.  I did not make this video, Dr Scott Sampson did, but if you need help finding or understanding some information, you should visit this website to get a better understanding. Sampson talks about where the dinosaurs were found, how many horns they had, and other useful information.

These two dinosaurs are very interesting, and if you find any more information about them, comment on my blog. I hope you learned something new, and I look forward to your comments. Some questions you could think about while researching information on these dinosaurs are:  How and when did these two species of dinosaurs become extinct? Who discovered the first fossils? Are all of the fossils found or are paleontologists still searching for more? Are the fossils exhibited in a museum? If so, what museum? How did the dinosaurs get their names?  Which of the two dinosaurs were more vicious? What were their strong and weak points? For example: Where the dinosaurs fast or slow on land? Could they swim?

  • Emilio

    Great post Sam! I myself have always been intrigued by dinosaurs, and my personal favorite is actually the Triceratops, or Triceratops Horridus. From what I know and the inferences of scientists, their large bulky head and horns were used to defend themselves as well as compete for mates. The family of the triceratops is called the “Ceratopsians”, and these are mostly found in the mid-west and western part of the United States. However, there is a rumor, and some evidence that Triceratops might not have existed, and may simply have been a younger form of another dinosaur. Perhaps this is another case of a mistaken identity.

  • Naseem

    That’s very interesting, Emilio! Samantha, I decided to research where these two great new dinosaur discoveries got their names!
    Firstly, I looked up the meaning of “Triceratops,” Emilio, and it is traditionally in Latin, meaning “three-horned face.”

    Then I read a bit about the new discovery of “Utahceratops gettyi” and “Kosmoceratops richardsoni.” The meaning behind each of these names was fascinating to me because they are broken apart into different facts revolving around these dinosaurs’ discoveries.

    For instance, “utahceratops gettyi” directly translates to “Utah horned face Getty.” This dinosaur’s state of origin was Utah, which explains the first part. ‘Ceratops’ means horned face, just like Tri’ceratops’. And Mike Getty, the paleotology collections manager at the Utah Museum of Natural History and the discoverer of “utahceratops gettyi”, was honored in the last part of its name!

    “Kosmoceratops richardsoni” means “ornate horned face Richardson.” “Kosmosceratops” being two latin features and “richardsoni” referring to the volunteer Scott Richardson that discovered two skulls of this dinosaur.

    This information was very interesting to me, and I hope I do something honorable enough to have something named after me!

  • Jessica K.

    Fascinating post, Sam! When I was younger I was always interested in dinosaurs and I am happy to hear about the discovery of new fossils. Naseem, it was a great idea to research the meanings and origins of the dinosaur names… I’m glad to learn about that. Emilio, it is very interesting that the triceratops, one of the most commonly discussed dinosaurs, may not have actually been in existence. After conducting some research, I’ve found multiple sources that supports the hypothesis that this species of dinosaur may not have actually existed, but was an alternate name for the Torosaurus in it’s younger stages. This may also explain why there were never any fossils of a Torosaurus discovered. Regarding the Utahceratops and the Kosmoceratops, I believe that they will be on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History. Since it is unknown how the entire population of dinosaurs originally became extinct, it is not possible to know how the Utahceratops and the Kosmoceratops became extinct.


  • Nick

    Sam, this was a really interesting post, and how they have just found this new species after dinosaurs have been extinct, for a couple million years. In the post it says that both of these dinosaurs were plant eaters, but if they are plant eaters, they would be herbivores. The reason I know this is because herbivores, eat plants only, whereas an omnivore eats both plants, and meat. Are these dinosaurs Herbivores or Omnivores? If you are not sure whether the dinosaurs are omnivores or herbivores, this website below should clear things up.

  • Eva

    Great post Sam! I think that what Jessica said was very fascinating! I did a little more research and found out about the two different types of dinousaurs. Apparently when both the Torosaurus and the Triceratops were found by Othniel Marsh the two had basic similar features, but had different specific features. Although they both had three horns, the Torosaurus had them going in different angles, they were also much thicker and smoother. The Torosaurus also had a much longer and thinner smooth-edged frill that had two holes in it. Not only are their features a little different, but there is a clear transition between the two different ages in the dinousaur species. This also expalins why and adult Torosaurus has never been discovered. I found both of these dinousaurs very interesting and wish to learn more with other comments.

  • Joe

    Sam, your post was extremely intriguing. I myself, wanted to be a paleontologist when I was younger and my little cousin is going through the same fascination. Jess I was especially intrigued by your comment and would like to add that they have found Torosaurus fossils, but they were mature adults. They had never found a juvenile Torosaurus and with research the Montana State University came to conclude that Triceratops wasn’t a separate species, but juvenile Torosaurus. The Triceratops is relatively same as the Torosaurus except for a hole in the head structure. This has lead scientists to believe that a Triceratops is merely a Torosaurus that didn’t live long enough to fully develop.

  • Dawood R.

    Nice post Sam. I myself have always thought that dinosaurs are amazing creatures, but I never knew that the triceratops might actually just be a younger form of another dinosaur. doing a little research I found out that while these dinosaurs are being kept at the Utah Museum of Natural History, there only going to be kept their til the end of the year. Many archeologists and scientists have also been excited about the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It has a very rough and rocky terrain, and it is very difficult to reach. When these dinosaurs were first discovered they had to be flown from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by helicopter because it was nearly impossible to travel by land. Since Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has first been opened, every few years or so new fossils have been discovered, and it shows great potential of fossils of dinosaurs being there.

  • Gabriela

    Great post Sam! I really love the resources you listed, they helped me understand and learn more about the new dinosaurs. I found another article about the Kosmoceratops richardsoni that leads me to believe that the dinosaur was in fact a viscious animal.
    Donning massive jaws that could easily crush the bones of its prey, and weighing in at about 16,000 pounds it is no wonder why they would refer to this amimal as “tyrant king”. The smoceratops richardsoni was, in this article, charectorized as one of the worlds seven deadliest dinosaurs.
    Do you think this is an accurate title? Why or why not?

  • James M.

    Very good post Sam! I myself am fascinated by dinosaurs. This particular dinosaur is very popular in the dinosaur world. This creature is very commonly studied. The Torosaurus fossils are found in North America. Its fossils are particularly found in Utah.
    The root of the name Torosaurus means “pierced lizard” This particular animal is also a member of the cerotopian group. The tricerpopus came from the Latin meaning three horned king. The animal name “utahceratops gettyi” translates to mean “Utah horned face Getty.” This dinosaur’s state of origin was Utah. That is where the Utah in the name ties in.
    A torosaurus is accused of being an older Triceratops. As below I have multiple resources to support the hypothesis of where the name came from and how it came about. As in Sam’s post it explains to you how the Torosaurus became extinct. We can’t know for sure how it became extinct. I have found a variety of resources that support the educated guess that these types of dinosaurs may not have actually existed, but then again was a fill in name for the Torosaurus early childhood. I am very fascinated on t his topic. Hopefully in the future we will have another blog post about the Torosaurus.

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  • Gunnar

    Wow James, after reading your comment i decided to research more about the sightings of the Torosaurus. I found an article that says in Lewistown Montana, they recently discovered the worlds largest skull of a Torosaurus. It was 9 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. But i discovered that in the worlds fossil discovery book, there is a scarce amount of Torosaurus’s fossil discoveries sine 1891 and since we just discovered one’s in Utah and in Montana than the Torosaurus must have lived in that area. Scientists have also concluded this hypothesis and are investigating Wyoming at the moment. They have already made one discovery of another Torosaurus and say that they see a lot more in the future.

    Research Links:

  • Emilio

    I actually decided to research if any other dinosaurs were discovered this year, and it turns out that there was! It’s been named Abydosaurus, and it is a herbivorous, four-legged, long-necked dinosaur. Apparently, after some research, scientists concluded that dinosaurs like Abydosaurus mcintoshi didn’t chew their food, they simply swallowed it. The article explains in much richer and more intriguing detail.

  • Cartland

    It’s really a good post Sam! I did some research after read your post.
    I found that the two species of dinosaur were inhabitants of the “lost continent” of Laramidia, formed when a shallow sea flooded the central region of North America, isolating the eastern and western portions of the continent for millions of years during the Late Cretaceous Period.
    It’s really a interesting place, it had been defined as a hypothetical continent that allegedly existed in one of Earth’s oceans, but disappeared at the dawn of human history. Because it does not exist anymore, the land and the people that used to lived on the land became a mythology? some people said that they used to have high technology and great science, but we can not find any evidence about their hypothesis for now. I hope that the new species of Dinosaur can help us get to know about this mystic land.


  • Molly

    Great job, Sam! Your post was very interesting! To answer your question about the differences between the two dinosaurs (the Utahceratops gettyi and the Kosmoceratops richardsoni), besides the obvious size differences between the two dinosaurs, the horns on both species would not have made strong defense weapons. “It’s far more likely that they were used to intimidate or do battle with rivals of the same sex, as well as to attract individuals of the opposite sex,” said Dr. Scott Sampson just like he mentioned in his video. Sampson also says something along the lines that these horns are strictly for decoration not for any major ecological uses, but strictly to reproduce. In addition, the Kosmoceratops richardsoni had five times more horns than the Utahceratops gettyi.
    Lastly, the fossils are exhibited at the Utah Museum of Natural History and will become apart of the museum’s main exhibits in the end of 2011. Once again, really interesting post, Sam! Good work!

  • Naseem

    Hey Emilio! I was just looking at one of the sources on your comment, “” and I’m personally debating whether this can be considered a “credible source” or not. As you know, in class we learned that to evaluate a site’s credibility, you should look at its accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency, and coverage. Firstly, I noticed your link doesn’t initially cite sources (making it impossible to verify the sources’ legitimacy) so I looked to see if the author does. The author of the article, Shashank Nakate, an author I didn’t recognize, doesn’t cite sources in a link to his profile, or specify he has qualifications other than being a “graduate from the ‘field’ of Agriculture.” I read some more information about, and found it lets anyone apply to write articles— this is different from a wiki site because on, you have to go through an ‘application process.’ Then I checked to see if “” was referenced in a document I trust—The Huffington Post, a news-reporting website, recently published an article about the ‘Wild At Heart’ Giraffe, and referenced a statistic on giraffes from When I found that out, I suddenly gained interest because until that point I didn’t see as a credible source. The article provides no date of when it was posted, but the information appears somewhat valuable if you want to make a point in a comment. Do you guys think Emilio’s source, ( is credible?

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