Startling skull inspires newly-discovered dinosaur’s name

 
Meet Mojoceratops. A heart-shaped frill crowns the head of a newly-discovered dinosaur, and has inspired scientists to provide the creature with an equally unique name.

In the current Journal of Paleontology, Yale’s Nicholas Longrich, officially unveiled the dinosaur. Longrich conjured up the name after having a few drinks with paleontologists one night. He says he wanted to give the dinosaur a name that reflected its “flamboyant” appearance.

Mojoceratops is what he blurted out.

“It was just a joke, but then everyone stopped and looked at each other and said, ‘Wait — that actually sounds cool,’ ” Longrich says in a statement. “I tried to come up with serious names after that, but Mojoceratops just sort of stuck.”

In 2008, Longrich realized he found a new dinosaur species while studying fossils at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. While looking at skulls from the chasmosaurine ceratopsid family, which all have frills on their heads, Longrich noticed one skull with frills that differed from the rest.

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