Ceratopsians, or the "horned dinosaurs" such as Triceratops and
As reported by paleontologists Attila Osi, Richard Butler and David Weishampel, the new dinosaur is represented by a number of skull and jaw fragments discovered in the 83- to 85-million-year-old strata of Iharkut, Hungary. Named
During the time of Ajkaceratops, much of what is now Europe was covered by the sea, and so it seems that the small ceratopsian lived on an island. (Its small size, even compared to similar dinosaurs, makes it possible that it was a dwarfed island species, but the researchers stress that more research is required to ascertain this.) Given this bit of biogeography and the fact that its closest relatives lived in Asia, the authors of the new study propose that populations of Ajkaceratops (or their precursors) island-hopped from what was then the western coastline of Asia to Europe. This idea will require further study to confirm, but regardless of how it got there, the presence of Ajkaceratops in Europe during the Late Cretaceous illustrates that the evolution and dispersal of dinosaurs was more complex than traditionally understood.
Ősi, A., Butler, R., & Weishampel, D. (2010). A Late Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities Nature, 465 (7297), 466-468 DOI: 10.1038/nature09019