Abstract

Serendipaceratops (sair-en-dip-a-sair-a-tops). The full name of this dinosaur is Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei. It is named for Arthur C. Clarke, author of books such as '2001 - A Space Odyssey' and 'Rendezvous with Rama'. Did you know that Clarke first became interested in science as a child because he was interested in dinosaurs? Ceratopsian (sair-a-top-see-an) dinosaurs first appeared in the Early Cretaceous, the period of time immediately after the Jurassic. Ceratopsian dinosaurs had horns and beak-like jaws. A very well-known example was Triceratops, a North American dinosaur with three horns on its head and a large, bony neck frill. Serendipaceratops was one of the earliest known ceratopsian dinosaurs. It was actually a protoceratopsian - proto means first or original. The first known bone from Serendipaceratops was discovered in Australia near Kilcunda, on Victoria's south-east coast. It is a forearm bone (ulna) about 115 million years old. This fossil could be an important clue that ceratopsian dinosaurs evolved in, or near, Australia and not Asia as previously thought. Another ceratopsian arm bone was also found at Dinosaur Cove, in south-west Victoria. It is a little younger at 106 million years old. As an early ceratopsian dinosaur, Serendipaceratops probably had beak-like jaws, only a very small neck frill and no horns. The beak-like jaw suggests it was a herbivore; a plant eater. This dinosaur was only about 2 metres long.
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2004-01-01T00:00:00

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