New dino species christened 'Mojoceratops' for its 'magic charm'

Posted By: Mamatha
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Washington, July 9 (ANI): It has a heart shaped frill on its head, and a flamboyant appearance too - so Mojoceratops seemed like an apt name for the new dino species.

"I discovered that 'mojo' is an early 20th-century African-American term meaning a magic charm or talisman, often used to attract members of the opposite sex," said Longrich, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University.

"This dinosaur probably used its frill to attract mates, so the name made sense."

While all ceratopsids have frills on the tops of their skulls, "Mojoceratops is the most ostentatious," Longrich said, adding that their frill is also the most heart-shaped of all the related species.

"It was just a joke, but then everyone stopped and looked at each other and said, 'Wait - that actually sounds cool,' " he added.

A plant eater about the size of a hippopotamus, Mojoceratops appeared about 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous, and survived for only about one million years.

The dino belongs to the chasmosaurine ceratopsid family, which are defined by elaborate frills on their skulls.

"You're supposed to use Latin and Greek names, but this just seemed more fun," Longrich said. "You can do good science and still have some fun, too. So why not?"

The find has been published in the Journal of Palaeontology. (ANI)

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