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Xu X, Wang K, Zhao X, Sullivan C, Chen S (2010) A New Leptoceratopsid
(Ornithischia: Ceratopsia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Shandong, China and Its
Implications for Neoceratopsian Evolution. PLoS ONE 5(11): e13835. doi:10.1371
Background: The ceratopsians represent one of the last dinosaurian radiations.
Traditionally the only universally accepted
speciose clade within the group was the Ceratopsidae. However, recent
discoveries and phylogenetic analyses have led to
the recognition of a new speciose clade, the Leptoceratopsidae, which is
predominantly known from the Upper Cretaceous
of North America.
Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we report a new leptoceratopsid taxon,
Zhuchengceratops inexpectus gen. et sp.
nov., based on a partial, articulated skeleton recovered from the Upper
Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng, Shandong
Province, China. Although Zhuchengceratops is significantly different from
other known leptoceratopsids, it is recovered as a
derived member of the group by our phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore,
Zhuchengceratops exhibits several features
previously unknown in leptoceratopsids but seen in ceratopsids and their close
relatives, suggesting that the distribution of
morphological features within ceratopsians is more complex than previously
Conclusion/Significance: The discovery of Zhuchengceratops increases both the
taxonomic diversity and the morphological
disparity of the Leptoceratopsidae, providing further support for the
hypothesis that this clade represents a successful
radiation of horned dinosaurs in parallel with the Ceratopsidae in the Late
Cretaceous. This documents a surprising case of
the coexistence and radiation of two closely-related lineages with contrasting
suites of jaw and dental features that
probably reflect adaptation to different food resources.