Nasutoceratops titusi’s simple frill, stout snout and unusually long horns contrast sharply with the “elaborate bony bells and whistles” of its contemporaries, says Sampson, who published a description of the species in July.
Sampson says such variation was probably prodded by sexual selection, which can drive big, fast-paced evolutionary changes to increase a male’s chances of reproductive success. The result? Horned dinosaurs evolved in only 5 million to 8 million years to become the most diverse dinosaur family on the ancient landmass, Sampson says.
[This article originally appeared in print as "New Dino Struts His Stuff."]