Original Paper


, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 39-49

First online:

The first ceratopsian dinosaur from South Korea

  • Yuong-Nam LeeAffiliated withKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources Email author 
  • , Michael J. RyanAffiliated withCleveland Museum of Natural History
  • , Yoshitsugu KobayashiAffiliated withHokkaido University Museum

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In 2008, a new basal neoceratopsian was discovered in the Tando beds (Albian) of Tando Basin in South Korea. It represents the first ceratopsian dinosaur in the Korean peninsula and is assigned to Koreaceratops hwaseongensis gen. et sp. nov. Autapomorphies of Koreaceratops include very tall neural spines over five times higher than the associated centra in the distal caudals, and a unique astragalus divided into two fossae by a prominent craniocaudal ridge on the proximal surface. A phylogenetic analysis indicates that Koreaceratops is positioned between Archaeoceratops and all more derived neoceratopsians, and the elongation of caudal neural spines was an important derived character in non-ceratopsid neoceratopsians. The very tall caudal neural spines in Koreaceratops, Montanoceratops, Udanoceratops, Protoceratops, and Bagaceratops appear to be homoplasious, suggesting an independent adaptation, possibly for swimming. Skeletal evidence suggests that obligate quadrupedalism occurred gradually in neoceratopsians progressing from bipedal through facultative quadrupedalism, to complete quadrupedalism in Coronosauria.


Basal neoceratopsian Koreaceratops hwaseongensis Tando beds Late Early Cretaceous Hwaseong City South Korea