At the end of last summer, on my way out of Salt Lake City, Utah, I encountered a dinosaur I had never seen before in the halls of the
Described by paleontologists Jim Kirkland and Donald de Blieux, the 80-million-year-old dinosaur is called Diabloceratops eatoni, with the genus name evoking its "devilish" appearance and its species name honoring Weber State University paleontologist Jeffrey Eaton. A long-time friend of Kirkland's, Eaton is a fossil mammal specialist who has eschewed going after a few big dinosaurs in favor of studying the many, many fossil mammal specimens which lived alongside them during the Mesozoic, so it was only natural for Kirkland to " get back" at his friend by naming a dinosaur after him.
Even better, there may be a second species of Diabloceratops waiting to be described from the Cretaceous strata of southern Utah. While Kirkland and de Blieux were not able to confidently give it a taxonomic assignment, they mention a second skull which is very similar to, yet slightly distinct from, the better-preserved "Last Chance" specimen. As Scott Sampson has stressed on his blog, there is still a lot of interesting new material being found from these sites, and who knows what else will be found?