New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

Horned Dinosaur Crittendenceratops discovered in Arizona

December 13, 2018


(Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Palentologists are announcing a new dinosaur discovery in the southwest United States. Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii is a new ceratopsid (horned) dinosaur from 73-million-year-old (Late Cretaceous) rocks in southern Arizona. It is one of the few dinosaurs named from Arizona.

Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii was named by Sebastian Dalman, John-Paul Hodnett, Asher Lichtig and Spencer Lucas, Ph.D, in an article recently published in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science) Bulletin.

Dalman and Lichtig are Research Associates of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History &Science (NMMNHS), Lucas is a curator at NMMNHS, and Hodnett is a paleontologist employed by the Maryland-National Capital Parks Commission.

The name Crittendenceratops is for the Fort Crittenden Formation (the rock formation that yielded the dinosaur fossils) and Greek ceratops, which means horned face. The species name krzyzanowskii is for the late Stan Krzyzanowski, a NMMNHS Research Associate who discovered the bones of the new dinosaur.

Crittendenceratops belongs to a group of horned dinosaurs called the centrosaurs, and can be distinguished from other centrosaurs by the unique shape of the bones in its frill (head shield). Crittendenceratrops was about 11 feet long and weighed an estimated three-quarters of a ton. Like other ceratopsids, Crittendenceratops was a plant eater.

The rocks that yielded the bones were deposited along the margins of a large lake that was present in an area southeast of Tucson, Arizona during the Late Cretaceous.

The published article on Crittendenceratops may be accessed at:

About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and new year’s day. 1801 Mountain Road NW, northeast of Historic Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, NM 87104, (505) 841-2800.  Events, news releases and images about activities at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and other  divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at


Related Photos

30-NMMNHS-Crittendeceratops restoration by Sergey Krasovskiy
30-NMMNHS-Crittendenceratops frill
30-NMMNHS-Crittendenceratops squamosal bone

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