Tag Archives: Aquilops americanus

Have Fun with Aquilops

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with Aquilops americanus. That’s the small horned dinosaur found in Montana by a team that included Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History paleontologist Dr. Richard Cifelli.

The tiny fossil is now on display at the museum, but what better way to celebrate this historic find than to have your own version…sort of.

Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week is the place to go for the latest news on this awesome little creature. They’ve also passed on some most outstanding ways you can make Aquilops your own. Click here to see how you can make hand puppets, 3D models, even a baby Aquilops for the kiddos. It’s all very cool and a great way to teach kids about dinosaurs.

This Scientist Is OK- Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies is a paleontologist and a fossil preparator at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He builds the displays you see on the museum floor. He most recently helped prepare Aquilops americanus display which debuted in February.

Davies is one of those people who’s living a childhood dream. He says all he ever wanted to do was build fossil displays. How abut that? Now he’s doing it and that makes him an OK scientist.

What is the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum?

We talk a lot about the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History here at SIO. This outstanding story is produced by the museum. It explains what it is, what it does, and how its mission serves Oklahoma.

This is a great look at why the Sam Noble Museum is unique and why Oklahoma is better off because of it.

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a fantastic place for the kids. Spend the day and learn all about Oklahoma’s rich history.

Calling Future Paleontologists

Do you know a high schooler who loves fossils or wants to be a paleontologist? The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has a fantastic program aimed just for them. It’s called Paleo Expedition and the museum is looking for twelve kids to take part.

They’ll get hands on training at geological and paleontological sites in Oklahoma, including the famed Black Mesa site. Best of all, it’s free. As in $0 to attend! The deadline to apply is March 27th.

But wait, there’s more. The Sam Noble Museum has another program called Oklahoma Science Adventure for students in 6-8th grade. The goal is to show the kids what science is like out in the field. They’ll research fossils as well as live animals. It’s also free! 

I really could go on an on about the programs offered through the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum, they also have one just for teachers. But your best bet is to visit the museum’s explorology website. It’s chalk full on information for parents and teachers.

This Scientist is OK- Dr. Richard Cifelli

Dr. Richard Cifelli is a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Oklahoma and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He’s had a very successful and interesting career. He was on the team that discovered the oldest horned dinosaur in North America, Aquilops americanus.

His love of science began like most scientists, as a child when his parents fostered an environment of discovery.

He fits the bill as an OK scientist.

Getting Aquilops Ready for its Debut

Aquilops americanus is the oldest horned dinosaur ever found in North America. It was discovered in Montana with the help a University of Oklahoma paleontologist. You can read about it here and here.

It’s going to be displayed at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman. But first it needs to be prepared. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look at how the tiny fossil is be made ready for display.

The plan is to have it make it’s public debut on February 4th.

Aquilops is Making Big News

Aquilops americanus is making big news across the world of paleontology. The small horned dinosaur was discovered by a team of scientists including a University of Oklahoma paleontologist. Its discovery and what it means is making news all over, so I thought I’d pass on a few links if you want to read more about it.

This is a behind the scenes look written by one of the scientists who worked on the fossil.

A history of the project from another scientist who worked on it.

From that same blog on how the reconstruction was made.

This is from the artist who designed the artwork depicting Aquilops.

The original paper on PLOS ONE.

National Geographic

Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs (perhaps the most interesting name for a dinosaur blog!!)

International Business Times

Here’s an article on cbsnews.com

This is from nbcnews.com


OU Paleontologist Helps Find Oldest Horned Dinosaur

History has been made and discovered by a University of Oklahoma paleontologist. Dr. Rich Cifelli is the paleontology curator for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He and a team of researchers, including Dr. Andrew Farke from the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in California, discovered a 108-million year old fossil skull in southern Montana. Here’s what it looks like.


Photo by Scott Nichols, copyright Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

It’s called, Aquilops americanus or “American eagle face”. It belongs to the Ceratopsia family which you and I know as the horned dinosaurs…think Triceratops. It’s characterized by it’s spikelike cheekbones and upper beak bone. It just doesn’t have the facial horns and frill that you normally associate with a Triceratops like animal.

Aquilops head

courtesy: University of Oklahoma

The cool part of this discovery is that Aquilops is about 20 million years older than any other known Ceratopsian species in North America, making it the oldest known member of the horned dinosaur family in this part of the world.

Richard Cifelli

Richard Cifelli, Paleontology Curator Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

“We were excited that it looked like a skull of a small plant-eating dinosaur, but we assumed that it belonged to a species already known,” said Cifelli. “We didn’t realize right away what a big discovery we had made.”

Aquilops is estimated to have been about two feet long and weigh three pounds, similar to the size of a small cat.

(3-D model designed by Sam Noble Museum exhibit technician Garrett Stowe)

The skull will be stored in the vertebrate paleontology collection at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman. It will go on exhibit in 2015 in the museum’s Hall of Ancient Life right next to Pentaceratops, which holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest dinosaur skull ever found.