Researchers have identified a new dinosaur and it appears to be closely related to the Triceratops though it has some key physical differences.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Mercuriceratops gemini weighed some two tons, which would make it half the size of a Triceratops. The paleontologists said the Mercuriceratops had a bony frill atop its head with wing-like protrusions on either side.
The research is based on fossil evidence collected from Montana and Alberta, Canada.
The dinosaur’s name, Mercuriceratops, is a combination of “Mercury” – the Roman God best known for his winged helmet – and “ceratops,” a Greek word meaning “horned face.”
“The butterfly shaped frill, or neck shield, of Mercuriceratops is unlike anything we have seen before,” said David Evans, curator of vertebrate paleontology at Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.
“Mercuriceratops shows that evolution gave rise to much greater variation in horned dinosaur headgear than we had previously suspected,” he added.
Mercuriceratops gemini lived about 77 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period, and was approximately 6 metres long and weighed more than 2 tonnes, Live Science reported.