I remember when this specimen was found, as I was still at the University of Alberta then. If I remember correctly, the story goes something like this: In 2010, Phil Currie was wandering through Dinosaur Provincial Park (as he normally does in the summer), when he saw something sticking out of the sediment. He thought it was a turtle shell (which are fairly common in the area), but he thought he'd investigate. Once he started uncovering it, he realised he had found something truly special, but just how special wasn't clear until the animal was uncovered - a nearly complete baby Chasmosaurus, the smallest baby ceratopsid, missing just it's front limbs and part of the pectoral girdles, and a few tail vertebrae. This specimen was so special that it was hidden in the lead preparator's office (Clive Coy), and I remember them taking off the blanket that constantly covered it so I could see. The specimen was recently published by Currie and colleagues in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. And here it is:
|Baby Chasmosaurus from Currie et al. (2016)|
|Baby's skull - look at the tiny orbital horns! From Currie et al. (2016).|
|Skin impressions from Currie et al. (2016)|
If you want to hear a bit more about this find and other dinosaurs from Alberta, check out my Palaeocast interview with Phil Currie.
This specimen has been CT scanned (yay!) and we can expect more studies on this awesome little dude in the future. Until then, imagine this little guy running around, about the size of a golden retriever (credit to Andy Farke for that comparison!) and just try not to go "awwwwww!".
Currie P.J., Holmes R.B., Ryan M.J., and Coy C. 2016. A juvenile chasmosaurine ceratopsid (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Dinosaur Park Formation, Alberta, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.1048348.