[D] Turanoceratops tardabilis [sG] [T]
Nessov, Kaznyshkina vide Nessov, Kaznyshkina & Cherepanov, 1989
Cretaceous Late Cenomanian Turonian
Ornithischia Genasauria Cerapoda Marginocephalia Ceratopia Neoceratopia Ceratopidae
Central Kyzylkum desert at Dzharakuduk, Turanian platform, Uzbekistan
Genus - Typespecies
TsNIGR museum #251/12457, a left maxilla, with teeth, and anterior, dorsal, and posterior portions broken away
Teeth, predentary, the medial portion of parietal, squamosals, nasal and supraorbital horn cores, braincase, vertebrae, and probable distal portion of scapula.
Turanoceratops a small-bodied neoceratosaurian provides important evidence that two-rooted maxillary and dentary teeth eppears earlier in Asian than in the North Amercian ceratopians.
Turanoceratops tardabilis from the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) Bissekty Formation of Dzharakuduk, Uzbekistan, represents the first definite ceratopsid dinosaur recorded from Asia. Reexamination of the original and study of newly collected material indicate that Turanoceratops has well-developed supraorbital horns and apparently lacks a nasal horn. Turanoceratops is more derived than the more or less coeval Zuniceratops from the Moreno Hill Formation of New Mexico in the presence of double-rooted teeth and of two or three teeth in each vertical dental file.
The original description of this taxon was based on an incomplete maxilla, horn core fragments, and isolated teeth (Nessov et al. 1989). Turanoceratops was assigned to the Ceratopsidae and more specifically to Monocloniinae (Nessov et al. 1989) or Centrosaurinae (Nessov 1995). Some later authors have accepted placement of Turanoceratops as a ceratopsid or at least the sister-taxon to Ceratopsidae (Sereno 1997, 2000; Chinnery and Weishampel 1998; Wolfe and Kirkland 1998) whereas others (You and Dodson 2003, 2004; Dodson et al. 2004) dismissed Turanoceratops as a nomen dubium and considered Ceratopsidae exclusively North American in distribution.
The principal reason for the latter point of view was the tantalizingly incomplete nature of original material assigned to Turanoceratops. Sues and Averianov (2009) report on additional remains of T. tardabilis from the type locality, which provide critical new information on the phylogenetic position of this taxon. Sues, H.-D., and Averianov, A. (2009)