Seems as if he'd be hard to miss : Scientists may have a new dinosaur.

In the Late Cretaceous period, a remarkable flowering of horned dinosaurs occurred along the coastal floodplains of western North America.

Two different families - each sporting every imaginable combination of spikes, horns and frills - diversified across the landscape, using their headgear to signal mates and challenge rivals.

Seventy-eight million years later, members of the ancient profusion are still turning up,  leading to a modern boom in discoveries.

The newest - described a team of researchers in the journal Peer J - is Lokiceratops rangiformis, a five ton herbivore with spectacular, curving brow horns and huge, bladed spikes on its three-foot-long [ 1 meter ] frill.

The researchers say this is a new species. Along with others like it, the find suggests that the area from Mexico to Alaska was full of pockets of local dinosaur biodiversity. Other experts, though, contend that there is not enough evidence to draw such conclusions.

The skull of the dinosaur in question was discovered in 2019 by a commercial paleontologist on private land in northern Montana. It was acquired by the Museum of  Evolution in Maribo, Denmark.

Researchers initially believed they were working with the remains of a Medusaceratops. But the animal lacked a characteristic nose horn.

The brow horns were uncharacteristically hollow. Then there were the unusual curving paddle like horns on the back of the frill and a distinct spike in the middle. [ Asher Elbein ]


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