Friday, September 30, 2011

[Paleontology • 2011] Koreaceratops hwaseongensis • the First Ceratopsian dinosaur in the Korean peninsula — A Swimming Ceratopsian?

Koreaceratops is a combination of "Korea" and the Greek κερας/keras meaning 'horn' and οψις/opsis meaning 'face'. The type species is K. hwaseongensis, named after Hwaseong City.

The remains of Koreaceratops - the tip of the tail is to the upper right and the partial legs are to the lower left. From Lee et al., 2011.

In 2008, a new basal neoceratopsian was discovered in the Tando beds (Albian) of Tando Basin in SouthKorea. It represents the first ceratopsian dinosaur in the Korean peninsula and is assigned to Koreaceratops hwaseongensisgen. et sp. nov. Autapomorphies of Koreaceratops includevery tall neural spines over five times higher than the associated centra in the distal caudals, and a unique astragalus divided into two fossae by a prominent craniocaudal ridge on the proximal surface. A phylogenetic analysis indicates that Koreaceratops is positioned between Archaeoceratops and all more derived neoceratopsians, and the elongation of caudal neural spines was an important derivedcharacter in non-ceratopsid neoceratopsians. The very tall caudal neural spines in Koreaceratops, Montanoceratops,Udanoceratops, Protoceratops, and Bagaceratops appear tobe homoplasious, suggesting an independent adaptation, possibly for swimming. Skeletal evidence suggests that obligate quadrupedalism occurred gradually in neoceratopsians progressing from bipedal through facultative quadrupedalism, to complete quadrupedalism in Coronosauria.
Keywords: Basal neoceratopsian, Koreaceratops hwaseongensis, Tando beds, Late Early Cretaceous, Hwaseong City, South Korea

Koreaceratops hwaseongensis
The first Ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea

Lee, Yuong-Nam; Ryan, Michael J.; and Kobayashi, Yoshitsugo. 2011. "The first ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea". Naturwissenschaften. 98 (1): 39–49.