[D] Koreaceratops hwaseongensis [sG] [T]
Lee, Ryan & Kobayashi 2011
Cretaceous Early Albian
Ornithischia Genasauria Cerapoda Marginocephalia Ceratopia
Tando beds, Tando Basin, South Korea
In 2008, a new basal neoceratopsian was discovered in the Tando beds (Albian) of Tando Basin in South Korea. It represents the first ceratopsian dinosaur in the Korean peninsula and is assigned to Koreaceratops hwaseongensis gen. et sp. nov. Autapomorphies of Koreaceratops include very 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 derived character in non-ceratopsid neoceratopsians. The very tall caudal neural spines in Koreaceratops, Montanoceratops, Udanoceratops, Protoceratops, and Bagaceratops appear to be 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.
KIGAM VP 200801, an articulated series of 36 caudal vertebrae associated with partial hind limbs and ischia.
Koreaceratops was found in a sandstone block that had been incorporated into the Tando dam at Hwaseong City; the way the specimen is cut off suggests that more of it was present before quarrying. The dam was built in 1994, and the bones were first brought to the attention of paleontologists in 2008, after a public official noticed them. The specimen probably came from the lower Tando beds. The upper part of this informally-named formation dates to 103 ± 0.5 million years ago.
Genus name 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.