Scientists have discovered a strange dinosaur: a relative of Triceratops with a huge nose.
Nasutoceratops titusi roamed present-day Utah about 76 million years ago. Similar to its relative Triceratops, Nasutoceratops measured about 15 feet long and weighed roughly 21 / 2 tons. But its colossal 41 / 2-foot skull bore a single horn over the nose, a horn above each eye and a long, bony frill toward the rear. Its large, flat teeth were perfect for eating plant matter.
Nasutoceratops’s horns, which measured 31 / 2 feet long, were about twice as long as those of its relatives, according to last week’s report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. They were also curved and forward-facing instead of stubby and pointed up.
Paleontologists unearthed the Nasutoceratops skull and bone pieces at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 2006. They spent six years cleaning and comparing the bones to other fossils around the world.