Fossil Friday – ceratopsid jacket

Back in May, I shared the partial sacrum of a ceratopsid, a horned plant-eating dinosaur, from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico.

The Western Science Center, Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences, and Southwest Paleontological Society excavated four large plaster jackets from this site, containing vertebrae, ribs, and a hip bone of this partial skeleton.


Earlier this week, WSC volunteer Joe Reavis began preparing another of these jackets, which contains the rest of the sacrum, the series of fused vertebrae nestled between the right and left hip bones of the ceratopsid. In the image, just to the left of the Max scale bar, you can see a sequence of four fused vertebrae. Ceratopsids have around 10 sacral vertebrae, so these four coupled with the five from the other jacket that I posted about in May mean that we probably have almost the entire sacrum. Opening each new jacket reveals more about this relative of Triceratops that lived 79 million years ago.

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