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30 Interesting Agujaceratops Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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Agujaceratops facts

There were some seriously big dinosaurs, there were some seriously dangerous ones and then there were some seriously fast ones… how about some fancy ones? The Agujaceratops were the fancy ones with brilliant frills and horns. They were like the crowned princes of their times. In this article titled 30 interesting Agujaceratops facts, we will learn some really fascinating facts about this dinosaur and its discovery. You ready? Hopefully you are.

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At a Glance

Name: Agujaceratops

Lived: 77 million years ago.

Status: Extinct.

Diet: Plants.

Locomotion: Quadrupedal.

Size: 15 feet

Weight: 2 tons.

Special Characteristics: Tow-lobed triangular frill, two brow horns and one nasal horn.

Discovered in: 1938 by Willian Strain.

Place of Discovery: Big Bend National Park, Aguja Formation, Texas.

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Interesting Agujaceratops Facts: 1-10

1. The term Agujaceratops is a Greek which means Aguja Horned Face.

2. As far as the pronunciation is concerned, it a bit difficult one and is pronounced as: ‘ah-GOO-hah-SHE-rah-tops’. You might take some time to get it right but don’t worry, you are not alone.

3. This majestic dinosaur lived during the Mesozoic Era’s Late Cretaceous period. In terms of years, the dinosaur lived some 77 million years ago.

4. The dinosaur was pretty massive and could reach the length of 15 feet from snout to tail tip.

5. Not only was it pretty big, it was also very heavy. The dinosaur weighed a whopping 2 tons.

6. As far as its habitat was concerned, it lived in the woodlands of the place which is now known as southern North America.

7. Luckily this dinosaur was not a carnivore. It fed on plants and was a peaceful walker among other fellow dinosaurs.

8. Coming to its fancy looks, it had a two-lobed frill. The frill was pretty large and not just that, it also had two horns right over its eyes.

9. One of the most interesting Agujaceratops facts is that originally, the Agujaceratops was assigned to a species in the Chasmosaurus genus. The assigned species was mariscalensis.

10. Chasmosaurus was another common ceratopsian dinosaur from the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous Period of Mesozoic Era.

Interesting Agujaceratops Facts: 11-20

11. Three people – Adrian Hunt, Robert Sullivan and Spencer Lucas again reanalyzed the skull of the Agujaceratops and found a lot of differences between the Chasmosaurus and the Agujaceratops. As a result of this, Agujaceratops was removed from Chasmosaurus genus and a whole new genus was assigned to it.

12. The new genus now became Agujaceratops and this happened in 2006. However, something interesting happened. The original species name was retained and the new species became mariscalensis. The binomial name now is Agujaceratops mariscalensis.

13. So basically, Agujaceratops is a new genus of ceratopsian dinosaur. What is a ceratopsian dinosaur? These are dinosaurs that are known to have horns and frills.

14. Talking of horns and frills, Agathaumas should be a ceratopsian dinosaur but no, the Agathaumas is actually a Triceraptos.

15. At the beginning we mentioned that Agujaceratops was about 15 feet long. The truth is that the lack of proper fossil evidence does not allow us to assign a proper length. But, based on other ceratopsians, the paleontologists think that Agujaceratops should be about 15 feet in length.

16. The fossil remains of Agujaceratops were found in Texas’ Aguja formation, which explains the Aguja part of the name.

17. The other part ‘ceratops’ is formed by combining two Greek words which are ‘korna’ meaning ‘horn’ and ‘prosopo’ meaning ‘face’ and hence, ceratops has a rough meaning of ‘horned face’.

18. The mariscalensis part of the binomial name has Mariscal, which is taken from Texas’ Mariscal Mountain Range, close to which the remains were found. The ‘ensis’ part finds its roots in Latin and usually denotes ‘hailing form’.

19. The holotype of Agujaceratops was discovered by William Strain in 1938. It was unearthed from Big Bend National Park in Texas’ Brewster county.

20. Initially, the bones that were found did not look like any dinosaur bones that were previously found and hence, paleontologists kept the bones unclassified.

Interesting Agujaceratops Facts: 21-30

21. Almost 5 decades after the discovery of the holotype, Thomas Lehman found the bones to be pretty interesting and started studying them towards late 1980s.

22. During the study, Lehman compared the bones with Canadian dinosaur Chasmosaurus and found striking similarities except for the fact that Chasmosaurus had shorter horns and frills.

23. Catherine Forster – another paleontologist started examining the bones of Agujaceratops and similar to Lehman, compared them with the bones of Chasmosaurus can came to the conclusion that Chasmosaurus, which was the northern species was short-horned species while Agujaceratops, which was a southern dinosaur was a long-horned species. This explains why the Agujaceratops was initially put in Chasmosaurus genus.

24. Because there aren’t enough fossil evidences, paleontologists have made some assumptions about the physical characteristics of Agujaceratops. These included the assumption that the dinosaur had a stocky and stout build.

25. Other assumptions include: The dinosaur was assumed to have a strong and medium sized tail. The dinosaur had beak-like elongated and pointed jaws.

26. The dinosaur had similar sized hind and forelimbs, indicating that it was a quadrupedal dinosaur.

27. The most interesting of Agujaceratops facts is that paleontologists assume that the frills of the dinosaur were double-lobed, triangular and long along with two prominent brow horns and a nasal horn of moderate size.

28. Paleontologists believe that Agujaceratops was terrestrial by nature and all its nourishment came from grasses and shrubs.

29. The exact purpose of the elongated frilled skull is not known but many paleontologists believe that the Agujaceratops used it for courtship and also for defense and offense.

30. The exact location where the Agujaceratops fossil was unearthed is thought to have been a swamp area during the Cretaceous period. This may indicate that the Agujaceratops either lived in the swamps or was a victim of Deinosuchus that dragged the Agujaceratops to that area and devoured it.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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