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Discovery of New Triceratops Species Announced at the Natural History Museum of Utah

File: Samantha Zimmerman, Natural History Museum of Utah

Officials at the Natural History Museum of Utah announced today the discovery of a new dinosaur species related to Triceratops. Paleontologists made the discovery in the nearly 2 million acres of wilderness in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Doctor Scott Sampson led the study following the initial find in 2006. He says the Nasutoceratops titusi  was unique for an oversized nose and long, curving horns.

“Our prediction is that future discoveries will include other horned dinosaurs with similarly un-ornate frills and long horns over the nose,” says Sampson.

He says 76 million years ago the area was much like Southern Louisiana is today but now it’s very hot, dry and extremely rugged.

“And that’s why this place remains arguably one of the last, largely unexplored treasure troves of dinosaur and other animals from the Mesozoic,” Dr. Sampson says.

Credit Bob Nelson
Scott Sampson points out the unique features of the newly discovered dinosaur.

He encourages young people to study paleontology because scientists are just scratching the surface.

“There’s lots of things to be found and discoveries to be made and that’s true for just about every area of science,” Dr. Sampson says.

He says the second part of the dinosaur’s name honors Paleontologist Alan Titus for his years of research collaboration at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Credit Bob Nelson
The Triceratops Wall at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Nasutoceratops titusi is #6.

The study of Nasutoceratops titusi was funded in large part by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Science Foundation. The recreation of the head of the newly discovered dinosaur is already on display on the Triceratops Wall inside the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Credit File Natural History Museum of Utah
Rendering of Nasutoceratops titusi in its likely habitat in the region called Laramidia during the Late Cretaceous period.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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