It’s always funny to read about the discovery of “new dinosaurs.” It’s like when the original incarnation of Spinal Tap then called “The Originals” found out there was another band called “The Originals,” and so they had to change their name to “The New Originals.” (Which is a much better names, really.) Anyway, a new, or at least, heretofore undiscovered, type of dinosaur has indeed been found in Utah.
Scientists have named it Kosmocerotops. It’s a close relative of the Triceratops, the famous rhinoceros-like plant-eater that has the big, armor-plated head with three horns. (“Cerotops” is Greek for “horned face.”) But the Kosmocerotops, which lived around the Great Salt Lake 68 to 99 million years ago, didn’t have just three horns. It had fifteen horns! A horn on the nose, a horn over each eyes, on the tips of its cheek bones, and ten more spreading across the top of its fan-like frill. More horns than any other dinosaur known to man. As the BBC reports, “it is the most ornate-headed dinosaur discovered to date.”
And, as only befitting all the dumb jokes that come to mind with the discovery of the horniest dinosaur of all time, these horns were made for love, not war. (At least not serious, mortal war.) “Most of these bizarre features would have made lousy weapons to fend off predators,” Said Scott Sampson from the Utah Museum of Natural History, who led a team of paleontologists in studying the unearthed fossils. “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.”
So all those horns could be seen as almost like a male peacock’s feather display. Or a large bouquet of curved, bony flowers. That’s so nice.