Leptoceratops, errr, or actually Pachyrhinosaurus

Yet another IVPP ornithischian, though for once it’s not a Chinese but North American. This is Leptoceratops (obviously) and it’s a relatively small ceratopsian that was hanging around right at the end Cretaceous period and thus was contemporaneous with bigger ceratopsians like Triceratops and Torosaurus.

I had been under the impression that this was a sculpted mount, but Phil Currie told me that there was original material in there collected as part of the famous (and very productive) Sino-Canadian Dinosaur Project. A closer look revealed this to be true and part of the pelvis, hindlimb and a few vertebrae are indeed original (not that you can probably see from the photo).

EDIT: Some detective work and firsthand knowledge from Andy Farke and Darren Tanke (see the comments below for details) shows that this is not, as advertised, a specimen of Leptoceratops, but in fact a juvenile Pachyrhinosaurus. It’s those museum signs again…. Ah well, it’s still a nice picture.

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11 Responses to “Leptoceratops, errr, or actually Pachyrhinosaurus”


  1. 1 Andy Farke 23/01/2010 at 9:43 am

    I *think* this is actually a baby Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, sadly mislabeled. The skull looks like one I’ve seen hanging around the back room of the Tyrrell. Maybe from the big bonebed, which was in full swing of excavations around the time of the join expeditions? That is interesting – I hadn’t realized there had been actual specimen swaps!

    • 2 David Hone 23/01/2010 at 11:14 am

      Well the skull is definitely a cast but what that means for the rest of the specimen I just don’t know. It call all be a juvy Pachy in that case or a mix and match though obviously I was going with the label / Phil Currie’s info and I’m happy to accept your knowledge of ceratopsians.

  2. 3 Andy Farke 23/01/2010 at 11:25 am

    Yeah, the ilium (with its everted margin) and the orientation of the ridge down the scapula look ceratopsid. I seem to recall seeing a cast of this specimen figured in that National Geographic dinosaur book by Louie Psihoyos awhile back.

  3. 4 Darren Tanke 23/01/2010 at 11:49 am

    Here is the whole story on this mount. Andy is right, it is indeed a juvenile Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai. I excavated and prepared most of the original bones used in the mount and sculpted the head from scratch in about 1 day due to a very tight deadline. The skll sculpture was based on the assorted small skull bones we had. The Ex Terra group (aka Sino-Canadadian Dinosaur Project) sculpted the rest (about 95% of the body) and mounted it c. 1993. The Ex Terra exhibit toured the world 1994-1997ish- there were four adult and 2 juvenile pachyrhinosaurs. For reasons still unclear to me, this juvenile panel mount was “accidently” given to the Chinese when the exhibit was overseas in Asia. As a result, virtually all of our baby pachyrhinosaur bones are now gone! I was in China in 2005, saw the mount, and pointed out that the signage was wrong. There was a Leptoceratops in the Ex Terra exhibit and the sign in Dave Hone’s picture is the sign that went with it. Somehow the two ended up together (incorrectly). I pointed all this out to officials in Beijing but am disappointed to see the problem was never fixed even though I made great efforts (given the language barier) to fix the problem. All the original material and data to create the sculpted head are derived from the Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai bonebed. A cast of the juvenile head is at Tyrrell with the adult pachyrhinosaur heads I also prepared/reconstructed as Andy believed he had seen there.

    • 5 David Hone 23/01/2010 at 2:14 pm

      Yikes, looks like I’m wrong. Ah well, thanks for the inf and I’ve modified the post. I’ll have a word about the signs and see if I and get it fixed.

      • 6 Darren Tanke 24/01/2010 at 7:26 am

        Thanks Dave, it would be nice to get the signage corrected as they have the world’s only juvenile Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai mount incorporating real material. Le tme know if you need any other information for the new sign.

      • 7 David Hone 24/01/2010 at 8:00 am

        Let’s get them to recongise the sign is wrong first, then we can start on the content of a putative new sign… ;-)

  4. 8 Darren Tanke 25/01/2010 at 1:25 am

    Sounds good! :)

  5. 9 Brad McFeeters 25/01/2010 at 11:19 am

    Is there any reason to believe Pachyrhinosaurus was bipedal as a juvenile?


  1. 1 Ceratopsians crests « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 02/09/2011 at 1:25 pm

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