A New Ceratopsian Discovery in the Lance Formation (Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian) of East Central Wyoming.

SWISHER, Jayme; Missouri Institute of Natural Science, Springfield, MO.


In late spring 2013, on a private ranch in Eastern Wyoming, the all-volunteer staff from the Missouri Institute of Natural Science began excavations after a visual survey observed notable fossil bone trickling from a hillside. This initial excavation revealed post-cranial remains of an exceptionally large chasmosaurine ceratopsian (MINS V1036) primarily in the pelvic region including both femurs, the cervical to dorsal section of the vertebral column, and the scapulocoracoid. While the absence of a skull prevents species assignment with real certainty; and postcranial characteristics do not distinguish it from Eotriceratops or Torosaurus, the morphology of the remains are compatible with Triceratops. One feature that does distinguish MINS V1036 is its large size. Though the distal end is missing, one femur measures approximately 1070 mm of the bone that is present. Also of note, vertebrae show what appears to be the presence of osteoarthrosis or some unknown osteopathology. In subsequent years, volunteers discovered additional fragmental elements along with evidence of the broader paleoenvironment . Ultimately, MINS recovered 40-45% of the skeleton and is in the restoration and mounting process to serve as the museum centerpiece. When complete, it will be the first and only permanent exhibit of a fossil bone dinosaur mount in the state of Missouri.

The Allstate Foundation provides funding for this work with additional exhibit funds provided in part by the C.W. Titus Foundation.