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Lee YN, Ryan MJ, Kobayashi Y.
The first ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea.
In 2008, a new basal neoceratopsian was discovered in the Tando beds (Albian)
of Tando Basin in South Korea. It represents the first ceratopsian dinosaur in
the Korean peninsula and is assigned to Koreaceratops hwaseongensis gen. et sp.
nov. Autapomorphies of Koreaceratops include very tall neural spines over five
times higher than the associated centra in the distal caudals, and a unique
astragalus divided into two fossae by a prominent craniocaudal ridge on the
proximal surface. A phylogenetic analysis indicates that Koreaceratops is
positioned between Archaeoceratops and all more derived neoceratopsians, and
the elongation of caudal neural spines was an important derived character in
non-ceratopsid neoceratopsians. The very tall caudal neural spines in
Koreaceratops, Montanoceratops, Udanoceratops, Protoceratops, and Bagaceratops
appear to be homoplasious, suggesting an independent adaptation, possibly for
swimming. Skeletal evidence suggests that obligate quadrupedalism occurred
gradually in neoceratopsians progressing from bipedal through facultative
quadrupedalism, to complete quadrupedalism in Coronosauria.