An elaborate dinosaur with a parrot-like beak, bony fringe, a huge horn on its nose and a & # 39; star-like & # 39; skull is named in honor of & # 39; a British rock musician David Bowie.
American paleontologists have named the dinosaur genus Stellasaurus, which & # 39; star lizard & # 39; means, based on a fossil skull found in Montana.
The creature roamed the Montana wetlands 75 million years ago and belonged to the ceratopsians – herbivores that included the iconic Triceratops
Stellasaurus was as big as a bus, reached more than 20 feet long and waited more than two tons.
The genus name Stellasaurus, or & # 39; star lizard & # 39 ;, is derived from & # 39; stella & # 39 ;, which is Latin for star, and & # 39; saurus & # 39 ;, which is Greek for lizard.
The name is a reference to the general & # 39; star-like appearance & # 39; of & # 39; skull, and a tribute to Bowie & # 39; s hit single & # 39; Starman & # 39; from 1972.
Stellasaurus ancellae is a member of plant-eating horned ceratopsid dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous and developed many different forms of ornamentation on their skulls
The fossil remains found in Montana have been named Stellasaurus ancellae – the first member of the new Stellasaurus genus.
During its existence on the barren American terrain during the Cretaceous period, Stellasaurus ancellae would have relied on its beautiful horns to attract mates – just like Bowie's unbelievably loud outfits during his glam phase.
& # 39; The skull ornament is amazing – almost star-like, & # 39; said paleontologist Jack Wilson to & # 39; the Department of Earth Sciences of & # 39; e University of Montana State University, who has known that he is a lover of British pop and rock.
STELLASAURUS DATES FOR THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD
The Mesozoic era is the name given to the period from 250 million to 65 million years ago.
The era is divided into three major periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.
The new type of discovery dates from the Cretaceous period – 145 million to 66 million years ago.
Mesozoic was the age of dinosaurs and lasted almost 180 million years.
The Mesozoic era followed the Paleozoic era, in which all arthropods, molluscs, fish and amphibians develop.
Mesozoic was followed by the Kenosoic era, in which the continents adopted the configuration we do not know today.
The skull of Stellasaurus includes a long, straight horn above the nose, very small pointed horns above the eyes and a fringe on the back of the & # 39; a head with four spikes – two long and two short.
& # 39; Ceratopsids evolved many different forms of embellishment on their heads, including horns above the nose, eyes and large bony fringe that & # 39; a rear projection, & # 39; said Professor Wilson.
& # 39; The horns and fronds were display structures for mating purposes, equal to the variety and elaborate feeds of some birds such as peacocks.
& # 39; These horns and fronds evolved rapidly and were unique to each individual.
& # 39; They are useful in determining species and finding new ones – such as Stellasaurus.
The remarkably preserved skull was discovered in & # 39; around & # 39; the city of Cut Bank, Montana, near the US-Canadian border in 1986 by field paleontologist Carrie Ancell who works at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.
Professor Wilson said that the "Bowie dino", which is simply baptized and described, is a missing link in the dinosaur pedigree.
Dinosaurs of the Stellasaurus genus lived between two previously known ceraptopsians called Styracosaurus and Einiosaurus.
The heavily spiked Styracosaurus evolved into Stellasaurus – before the Bowie-like Stellasaurus evolved into Einiosaurus.
David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust David Bowie in concert at Earl's Court, London, United Kingdom – May 1973.
& # 39; The ornamental horns and prickly fringe on & # 39; & # 39; The skulls of these animals are what are most changed by evolution, & # 39; Wilson said.
& # 39; The new species has skull ornamentation that is intermediate.
& # 39; This gives us evidence that these types of members are of a single, evolving tribe – this type of evolution is called anagenesis. & # 39;
The hypothesis, which was established in 1992 by the famous paleontologist Dr Jack Horner, has been confirmed by Stellasaurus.
In the same way, & # 39; Bowie appearance & # 39; evolved & # 39; to become less outspoken and conservative, right up to his & # 39; Berlin trilogy & # 39; phase in & # 39; e late 1970s.
Stellasaurus is further described in Royal Society Open Science.
& # 39; The science of Stellasaurus is remarkable and tells the story of millions of years of unbroken evolutionary change within a single tribe, & # 39; said Professor Wilson.
Photo of an isolated and fragmentary partial skull of & # 39; e ceratopsid, preserving & # 39; left lateral & # 39; parietal & # 39 ;, the main bone in & # 39; e freely to & # 39; e back of & # 39; head. The spikes are part of the parietal
Ceratopsids include two families – the chasmosaurines that do not include Triceratops and centrosaurines.
The latter include Stellasaurus whose skull was discovered in 1986 by field paleontologist Ms. Carrie Ancell – to whom the creature is also named.
The rocks from which Stellasaurus was excavated represent ancient silks and mud that were deposited on a flood on the coast.
During the Late Cretaceous, North America was split by a sea, and ceratopsians, including Stellasaurus, were on the western side – next to the young Rocky Mountains.
& # 39; They live in ecosystems with many other types of dinosaurs, such as T Rex, small meat-eating predators, duck-billed hadrosaurs and armored ankylosaurs, Professor Wilson said.
& # 39; There were also extinct flying reptiles called pterosaurs, small mammals, turtles, crocodiles and many other species of animals. & # 39;
During the Late Cretaceous, North America was split by sea – the Western Interior Seaway. Ceratopsians, including Stellasaurus, were on the west side – next to the young Rocky Mountains
Stellasaurus is most spectacular in a long line of animals that Bowie honors – including a wasp and a spider.
& # 39; Heteropoda davidbowie & # 39; is a kind of & # 39; hunter-spider native to parts of Asia, in reference to the Bowie song & # 39; Glass Spider & # 39; from his mocked 1987 album Never Let Me Down and his more acclaimed album & # 39; 1972 & # 39; The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars & # 39 ;.
Meanwhile, the Archaeoteleia species of extinct wasp that did not live as the dinosaurs were called 100 million years ago after a Latinized version of the word & # 39; stardust & # 39;
& # 39; Star & # 39; was a repeated word in Bowie's career – he created the alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, which contributed to his enormous popularity in & # 39; e 1970 & # 39; s, and named his final album & # 39; Blackstar & # 39 ;, which was released two days before his 2016 death.
CERATOPSIANS DEVELOP ELABORATE HORNS AND FRILLS
Ceratopsians were ornithischians, as & # 39; dinosaurs with & # 39; bird hips & # 39 ;.
The oldest ceratopsians appeared at the beginning of the Cretaceous, some 140 million years ago.
In the Late Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago, the ceratopsians began to diversify in North America and Asia.
The horned, frilled dinosaurs in the Ceratopsidae family are found only in the Late Cretaceous of North America; they are one of & # 39; the last of & # 39; dinosaurs.
Their "beak" and rows of sagging cheek teeth suggest that they are feeding on sturdy vegetation.
The enormous, heavy & # 39; frill & # 39; of ceratopsians such as Triceratops may have served as an armor against the attacks of Saudi predators such as Tyrannosaurus, who did not live at the same time and place.
Later, Ceratopsians, including Centrosaurus and Triceratops, became very large quadrupeds and developed extensive facial horns and fringes that stuck across their necks.
Source: UCMP Berkeley
The impression of an artist of a triceratops, who is perhaps the most famous of all Ceratopsians