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Albertaceratops were pretty weird because of the unusual structure of their skull. What was so unusual? We are about to find out in this article which spells out a few interesting Albertaceratops facts. We cannot promise you tons of facts because the information on these dinosaurs is pretty scarce. So, we will put together whatever we could find.

Before we start…

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Clade Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Family Ceratopsidae
Subfamily Centrosaurinae
Genus Albertaceratops
Species Albertaceratops nesmoi (type)
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At a Glance

Name: Albertaceratops

Lived: 80 million years ago to 73 million years ago

Historical Period: Epoch – Late Cretaceous | Era – Mesozoic

Diet: Herbivore

Locomotion: Quadrupedal

Size: 5.8 meters long | 2 meters high at hips

Weight: 3.5 tons


Okay, now that we have given a necessary details, we can move on to our facts list. Let’s begin…

Interesting Albertaceratops Facts: 1-5

1. Alberaceratops was a surprise for paleontologists. This massive lizard had typical Centrosaurine skull but had brow horns which were like that of Chasmosaurine dinosaurs. Confused? Well let us take a look at the differences between Chasmosaurine and Centrosaurine dinosaurs.

Chasmosaurine Centrosaurine
These dinosaurs had triangual frills that were huge. The weight of the frills were minimized by large fenestrae (hole or pore). Their skulls were long and they also had large eye or brow horns. Nasal horns were either absent or very short. These dinosaurs on the other hand had frill but those frills were small and were highly ornamented. They possessed small skulls and brow horns or eye horns were completely absent. However, they had a pretty large nasal or nose horn.
Examples: Torosaurus, Triceratops, Chasmosaurus, Arrhinoceratops, Anchiceratops, Pentaceratops, Eotriceratops Examples: Achelosaurus, Brachyceratops, Einiosaurus, Styracosaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Centrosaurus, Avaceratops

2. Hopefully, the differences pointed out in the table above clarify why the paleontologists were confused. But, did you know that the Albertaceratops were initially set to get the name Medusaceratops?

3. It was Dr. Michael J. Ryan who was responsible for naming the dinosaur and he thought of Medusaceratops but later changed it to Albertaceratops before the release of official description.

4. The official description for the dinosaur was released back in 2007.

5. Interestingly, some additional remains were also found. Those remains were basically skull frills and they are added to the pile of bones of the Albertaceratops. These additional skull frills were causing problems with the description.

Interesting Albertaceratops Facts: 6-10

6. Good thing however is that these additional skull frills were removed and were named separately as Medusaceratops before being officially unveiled in year 2010.

7. Of all the Centrosaurine dinosaurs, Albertaceratops is the oldest or the most primitive one.

8. Albertaceratops is also the first Centrosaurine dinosaur whose nose horn wasn’t the largest face horn.

9. Where exactly was Albertaceratops found? The remains were found at Mansfield Bonebed in Oldman Formation in Alberta, Canada.

10. The remains of Albertaceratops were found back in August 2001 but as mentioned above, the descriptions were officially released in 2007.

Interesting Albertaceratops Facts: 11-15

11. You may be wondering why “Alberta” in the name? The place where it was discovered, i.e. Alberta was actually named after daughter of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The daughter’s name was Alberta and she was the couple’s fourth child. The full name of Alberta was Princess Louise Caroline Alberta and she lived from 1848 to 1939.

12. So, the Alberta part of the Albertaceratops comes from the princess. Now, the part ‘cera’ comes from the Greek word ‘ceras’, which actually means horn. The final part ‘ops’ is also a Greek word, which means ‘face’.

13. Now take a look at the species name. The type species is Albertaceratops nesmoi. Nesmoi part is taken from the name Cecil Nesmo. Cecil was only a local rancher who aided the paleontologists in finding dinosaur remains.

14. Albertaceratops is pronounced as Al-BERT-ah-SEH-rah-tops. The meaning of the name is Alberta Horned Face (see #12).

15. Albertaceratops was quadrupedal. That is, it walked on four legs and lived by eating plants. It was a veggiesaur (just kidding).

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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