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Introduction Ajkaceratops kozmai, the Hungarian ceratopsian

Just out in Nature:

Ősi, A., R.J. Butler & David B. Weishampel. 2010. A Late Cretaceous
ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities. Nature 465: 466-468.
DOI: doi:10.1038/nature09019

Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) represent a highly diverse and abundant
radiation of non-avian dinosaurs1, 2, 3, 4, 5  known primarily from the
Cretaceous period (65-145 million years ago). This radiation has been
considered to be geographically limited to Asia and western North America1,
2, 3, with only controversial remains reported from other continents. Here
we describe new ceratopsian cranial material from the Late Cretaceous of
Iharkút, Hungary6, from a coronosaurian ceratopsian, Ajkaceratops kozmai.
Ajkaceratops is most similar to 'bagaceratopsids' such as Bagaceratops and
Magnirostris, previously known only from Late Cretaceous east Asia3, 5, 7,
8. The new material unambiguously demonstrates that ceratopsians occupied
Late Cretaceous Europe and, when considered with the recent discovery of
possible leptoceratopsid teeth from Sweden9, indicates that the clade may
have reached Europe on at least two independent occasions. European Late
Cretaceous dinosaur faunas have been characterized as consisting of a mix of
endemic 'relictual' taxa and 'Gondwanan' taxa, with typical Asian and North
American groups largely absent10, 11. Ajkaceratops  demonstrates that this
prevailing biogeographical hypothesis is overly simplified and requires
reassessment. Iharkút was part of the western Tethyan archipelago, a
tectonically complex series of island chains between Africa and Europe12,
and the occurrence of a coronosaurian ceratopsian in this locality may
represent an early Late Cretaceous 'island-hopping' dispersal across the
Tethys Ocean.

Etymology. Ajka: the town of Ajka, which is close to the type locality;
ceratops (Greek): horned face. (Intended pronunciation: oi-ka-sera-tops.)
The species is named in honour of Károly Kozma.

Horizon and locality. Csehbánya Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Santonian13),
Iharkút, Veszprém County, Bakony Mountains, Transdanubian Range, western
Hungary. Iharkút has previously yielded a typical European Late Cretaceous
dinosaur assemblage of endemic rhabdodontid ornithopods and basal nodosaurid
ankylosaurs6, 14.

Accompanied by a News & Views:
Xu, X. 2010. Biogeography: Horned dinosaurs venture abroad.    Nature 465:
431-432.  DOI: doi:10.1038/465431a

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA