Achelousaurus – Bizarre Horned Dinosaur

Known from several partial skulls and a single fragmentary skeleton discovered in the upper layers of the Two Medicine Formation, Achelousaurus is a medium sized horned dinosaur related to Pachyrhinosaurus and Centrosaurus.  Named by the Canadian palaeontologist Scott Sampson in 1995, the species name “horneri” honours the American palaeontologist John “Jack” Horner who was born in Montana and has worked extensively on dinosaur fossils found in that American State.  The dinosaur, a member of the Centrosaurine group of horned dinosaurs is estimated to have reached lengths of around six metres and to have weighed around 3,000 kilogrammes.

A Drawing of Achelousaurus

Achelousaurus horneri

Achelousaurus horneri

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The genus name for this dinosaur comes from the river god Achelous from Greek mythology.  Achelous had one of his horns torn off by Hercules.  Several of the known skull fossils of this Late Cretaceous dinosaur have roughened processes in the same location on the skull where other Centrosaurine dinosaurs have horns, giving them the appearance of having lost horns.  In Greek myth, Achelous was believed to be a shape shifter, Achelousaurus has a number of anatomical traits that reflect other Centrosaurine dinosaurs and hence this may be another reason for the genus name.

Collecta have produced a wonderful, hand-painted replica of this horned dinosaur.  To view the range of Collecta dinosaur models available from Everything Dinosaur: Collecta Dinosaur Models

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