Oldest Horned Dinosaur Species Found in US (Video)

December 12, 2014 Updated: December 13, 2014

Dinosaur fossils from millions of years ago are the subject of many scientific studies, and researchers are making new discoveries frequently.

Fossil evidence of the oldest known horned dinosaur ever found in North America has recently been identified by paleontologists. The three inch skull was found in the Cloverly Formation in southern Montana back in 1997, but more recent analysis shows how significant the discovery really is.

Andrew Farke, a paleontologist with Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and a co-author of the study is quoted as saying: “Up to this point, all that was known for horned dinosaurs were just isolated teeth and fragment bones. This new find is the first one that allows us to say exactly what kinds of horned dinosaurs lived in North America about 108 million years ago.”

The fossil record shows the horned dinosaur that experts have named Aquilops americanus was about the size of a house cat, or a large bird, estimated to be about two feet long and weighing around three and a half pounds.

Aquilops is believed to have been alive during the early Cretaceous period between 145 and a half million years ago to 65 and a half million years ago.