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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2020 3:18 p.m. PST

"This week we'll be checking out a newly described ceratopsian dinosaur. Say hello to Stellasaurus anchellae! Stellasaurus lived in what is now Montana, USA, during the late Cretaceous period, about 75.2 million years ago. From beak to tail it measured about 20 feet long and would have eaten plants when alive. The genus name, Stellasaurus, translates to "Star Lizard" due to its flamboyant horn ornamentation and in honor of the late rockstar, David Bowie, and his song, "Starman".

Stellasaurus is characterized by having a massive nose horn that curved backwards, towards the tail end of the animal, much like the horn of a modern rhinoceros. Stellasaurus' nose horn was also slightly laterally compressed, like a blade, rather than having a more rounded cross-section, which is unusual for ceratopsians. Finally, this dinosaur sported two long, upwards-facing horns on either side of its frill. The evolutionary purpose of these horns was likely for some sort of intraspecies communication, likely display and/or combat with rivals. Because there is just so much variation in headgear amongst ceratopsian species, it is unlikely they were purely for defense against predators. Stellasaurus was a member of the centrosaurine group of ceratopsians, which are characterized by their deeper snouts and proportionally smaller neck frills…"

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