SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

New dinosaur unveiled at Natural History Museum of Utah

Jun 20, 2024, 3:00 PM | Updated: 7:10 pm

the skull of the new dinosaur, Lokiceratops rangiformis, is shown...

A new species of dinosaur, Lokiceratops rangiformis, found in the ancient swamps of northern Montana, is unveiled at the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Natural History Museum of Utah unveiled a newly discovered dinosaur on Thursday. Scientists said the discovery gave them a better look into prehistoric life.

The new dinosaur is called Lokiceratops rangiformis, aka the giant horned dinosaur.

The dinosaur was discovered in northern Montana, near the Canadian border, according to a press release from the NHMU.

Related: New display called “Uncharted Worlds” arrives at Thanksgiving Point

Scientists at the NHMU and the University of Utah pieced the skull together over several years. 

It took them about four years to recreate the skull, including the unique horns on the back of the head. Horns that look like the Norse God Loki’s helmet, hence, its name.

a recreation of what the new dinosaur lokiceratops rangiformis looks like

The new dinosaur; Lokiceratops rangiformis, aka the giant horned dinosaur. (Alexandrea Bonilla/KSL NewsRadio)

New dinosaur provides a wider understanding

U of U Paleontologist Dr. Mark Loewen is the co-lead author of the study. He said it shows just how much scientists underestimated the diversity of ceratopsians.

“In this small area, smaller than Salt Lake City… we have five elephant-sized animals living at the same time. That’s unheard of. That’s like going to the Serengeti and seeing five species of elephants.”

He said this study shows just how much scientists have underestimated the diversity of prehistoric life.

“We think we probably know less than 1% of the animals that belong to this group that lived here in North America.”

Loewen said to expect many more finds similar to this one, including a few fossils found in southern Utah.

The museum will display the skull and a life-like replica for the rest of the year.

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New dinosaur unveiled at Natural History Museum of Utah