ANCHICERATOPS (ANK-ee-SAIR-ah-tops)

Period: Late Cretaceous

Order, Suborder, Family: Ornithischia, Marginocephalia, Ceratopsidae

Location: North America (Canada)

Length: 20 feet (6 meters)

Anchiceratops was discovered along the Red Deer River in Alberta in 1912 by an expedition from the American Museum of Natural History led by Barnum Brown. They found the back part of a skull that had a new kind of neck frill. Brown named it Anchiceratops ornatus, the "close-horned reptile." In 1924, Charles Sternberg collected a nearly complete skull of Anchiceratops, which provided the information missing on the first skull. Sternberg noted that this skull was slightly different from the first one, so he designated it a new species, Anchiceratops longirostris. Paleontologists are not sure if there is more than one species of Anchiceratops. More specimens have since been found, with a nearly complete skeleton that is at the National Museum of Canada.

The most distinctive features of this dinosaur are in its unusual neck frill. The frill is moderately long and rectangular with small, oval fenestrae (openings). The edge of the frill is thick just behind the brow horns. On the back of the frill are six large epoccipitals (bony knobs around the frill) that were expanded into short, triangular, backward-pointing spikes. Also on the frill are two short spikes that curve up and out.

Anchiceratops had a short nasal horn, a very long nose, and two moderate-size brow horns. Its skeleton shows it had a very short tail, but otherwise it looked much like other ceratopsids.

Anchiceratops lived at the same time as its close relative Arrhinoceratops. It was also closely related to Torosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Pentaceratops, and Triceratops.