A new neoceratopsian dinosaur linking North American and Asian taxa
ABSTRACT Basal (cladistically) neoceratopsians are relatively small, gracile members of Ceratopsia (?horned? dinosaurs), which also includes larger forms such as Triceratops and Centrosaurus. The Asian basal neoceratopsians share some very important traits not found in any North American group until now, including a fenestrated frill and premaxillary teeth. Likewise, the North American basal taxa have some traits not found in the Asian forms, the most important of which is a very specialized tooth wear pattern. Cerasinops hodgskissi, a new basal neoceratopsian from the Lower Two Medicine River Formation of Montana, exhibits all of the above characters along with others previously found on only one of the two continents. The new species is a sister group to Leptoceratopsidae in a cladistic analysis, and is a link between the taxa on the two continents. Cerasinops also exhibits extremely interesting anatomical and histological features that indicate the possibility of bipedality in this taxon, a locomotor pattern not found previously in basal neoceratopsians (it has been suggested in some, but with little evidence).