Zuniceratops christopheri

  • Pronounced:  Zoo - nee - Sair - o - tops

  • Diet:  Herbivore (Plant-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Zuni Horn Face"

  • Length:  10 feet (3 m)

  • Height:  4 feet (1.3 m)

  • Weight:  450 pounds (200 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Cretaceous - 90 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Western United States

This is the oldest known member of the horned dinosaur family to actually have horns over its eyes. Christopher Wolfe, the 9-year-old son of scientist Doug Wolfe, found this rather small ancestor of Triceratops. It was a plant-eater which probably lived in herds.

This dinosaur is important for a number of reasons. It had small brow horns and is a nice example of an evolutionary transition between the earlier frilled dinosaurs such as Protoceratops, which it closely resembles, and the later, larger ceratopsians that had some very large horns and frills. It also supports the theory that the ceratopsian dinosaur lineage may have a North American origin.

It was found in the Zuni formation, named for a Native American tribe. This North American formation has yielded a number of very important Cretaceous fossils.

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