A new breed of dinosaur with a massive nose has been identified in Utah. Dubbed the Nasutoceratops Titusi, the dinosaur was about 15 feet long when it roamed earth about 75 million years ago, according to the Natural History Museum of Utah. The Nasutoceratops — which translates to "big nosed horned face" in Latin — was discovered as a part of an excavation in southern Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The dinosaur was likely a relative of the Triceratops — both are horned herbivores that walked around on four legs.
Aside from its huge nose, the museum notes that the dino had a long, large, forward pointing horn protruding from above each eye. The Nasutoceratops also had a low, blade-like horn above its oversized nose. It took the museum and University of Utah staff and students years to clean up and analyze the fossil, which is why the Nasutoceratops discovery wasn't made public until now.
an unexplored dinosaur boneyard
A study on the Nasutoceratops was also published Wednesday in an issue of the academic journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. According to National Geographic, which got an early look at the study, the Nasutoceratops likely moved slowly and traveled in herds. Males also likely used their horns to battle over females, as well as for defense against predators. Scott Sampson, a paleontologist who co-authored the study, told National Geographic that Cretaceous period North America was like a bit like "wall-to-wall Jamaica" with rich plant life, plenty of swampy areas, and beaches. As such, the US now serves as "the last great relatively unexplored dinosaur boneyard," he said. "This find raises some great questions and mysteries. We're just beginning to understand the world of dinosaurs."