Mojoceratops was discovered when Nicholas Longrich from Yale University was looking at existing fossils from American Museum of Natural History in New York. They had been classified as another species, Chasmosaurus, but Nicholas believed they were something else. Dinosaur, thy name is Mojo.
Mojoceratops was about the size of a hippo and roamed the Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces of Canada around 75 million years ago. It nommed on plants only, like its relative the Triceratops. Anyone else having a flashback to the Land Before Time? Ducky was my favourite. That movie was epic. Anyway…
Most striking is the frill. All the Ceratopsids had frills, but Mojo’s was the largest and the most heart shaped. Nicholas thinks it was used for sexual courtship. The right side of the frill is larger than the left side, which indicates it was a display or weapon under intense selection. The same kind of asymmetry is also seen in deer antlers. Sexual selection fail though, the species only lasted for a million years. Did they lose their mojo?
Mojo means a talisman for attracting members of the opposite sex. Of course, Nicholas first came up with the name after having a few drinks. “It was just a joke, but then everyone stopped and looked at each other and said, ‘Wait — that actually sounds cool’ ” he said. Yes, yes it does. I think I have a new favourite dinosaur.