Welcome to our AURORACERATOPS entry...
Archived dinosaurs: 843
fb twit g+ feed
Dinosaurs from A to Z
Click a letter to view...
V W X Y Z ?


a herbivorous neoceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
Pronunciation: a-RAW-ruh-SEH-ruh-tops
Meaning: Early horned face
Author/s: You, Li, Dodson, et al. (2005)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Gansu, China
Chart Position: 474

Auroraceratops rugosus

Discovered at Mazong Shan seven years after Archaeoceratops—which is a slightly smaller critter of the same stamp, Auroraceratops is named for its status as an early neoceratopsian and also to honor the wife of one of its describing authors. Both the Latin "aurora" and Peter Dodson's better half are "dawn", but please note; the latter is honored in recognition of being a most gracious hostess to several generations of paleontologists rather than bearing any resemblance, features wise, which is probably just as well.

Unlike other neoceratopsians who typically have a long, narrow snout, Auroraceratops has a shorter wider one with two pairs of ridged, fang-like teeth at the front, and it's attached to a rather flat and exceptionally broad skull. Its face is a bit, well, lumpy, due to raised areas around the eyes, on the cheeks and on the lower jaw, and as these areas are rough in texture, chances are they anchored a keratin coating in life, which would only increase their lumpiness.

Auroraceratops rugosus is one of two genera and four species of non-coronosaurian neoceratopsians known from the Mazongshan area, but it is the least understood, because a skull represents the entirety of its confirmed remains. That said, a virtually complete skeleton that was heralded as South Korea's first known ceratopsian—found near the entrance to Dudo's Gamcheon Port in 2010—perhaps belongs to Auroraceratops, which could shed some much-needed light on this most enigmatic creature. However, that specimen has yet to be described and may turn out to be an Archaeoceratops, but it isn't the specimen from Tando Dam which was also reported as South Korea's first known ceratopsian, because that one was described by Yuong-Nam Lee and christened Koreaceratops.
(Rough Dawn horn face)Etymology
Auroraceratops is derived from the Latin "aurora" (Dawn) and the Greek "keras" (horn) and "ops" (face), which refers to its status as an early neoceratopsian and also honors Dawn Dodson, wife of paleontologist Peter Dodson. The species epithet, rugosus, means "rough" in Latin, referring to the various rugose areas on the surface of its skull and jaws that may have been contact points during butting or shoving contests for mating rights.
The first remains of Auroraceratops were discovered in an unnamed unit of the Xinminpu Group, Gongpoquan Basin, Mazongshan Area, Gansu Province, China, by Li Daqing of the Fossil Research and Development Center of the Third Geology and Mineral Resources Exploration Academy of Gansu Province. The holotype (IG-2004-VD-001) is an almost complete sub-adult skull (200mm long).
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Barremian- Albian
Age range: 130-99 mya
Est. max. length: 2 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 100 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Second Species
A second species, referred to only as Auroraceratops sp., is based on a partial skeleton found 100km southeast of the Auroraceratops rugosus site at Mazongshan. It was described by You et al. in 2012 as differing from Auroraceratops rugosus in having a longer face and narrower snout, more typical of basal neoceratopsians. Tens of specimens of all age groups were tentatively assigned here too, but they have yet to be studied in detail.
• You H-L, Li D-Q, Ji Q, Lamanna MC and Dodson P (2005) "On a New Genus of Basal Neoceratopsian Dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Gansu Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica 79(5): 593–597.
• You H-L, Morschhauser E, Dodson P and Li D-Q (2012) "Auroraceratops sp. (Dinosauria: Neoceratopsia) from the Early Cretaceous of the Mazongshan area in northwestern China". Vertebrata PalAsiatica 50(2): 170-180.
• Lee Y-N, Ryan M J and Kobayashi Y (2011) "The first ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea". Naturwissenschaften 98(1): 39–49.
Email    Facebook    Twitter    Google+    Stumbleupon    Reddit    Pinterest    Delicious
Time stands still for no man, and research is ongoing. If you spot an error, or want to expand, edit or add a dinosaur, please use this form. Go here to contribute to our FAQ.
All dinos are GM free, and no herbivores were eaten during site construction!
To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AURORACERATOPS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 16th Dec 2017.