Notoceratops (meaning "southern horned face") is a dubious genus of extinct ornithischian dinosaur based on an incomplete, toothless left dentary (now lost) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia (in Argentina), probably dating to the Campanian or Maastrichtian. It was most likely a ceratopsian[1] and it was found in the Lago Colhué Huapi Formation.

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous,
~77–66 Ma
Notoceratops mandible.jpg
Holotype mandible
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dracohors
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Genus: Notoceratops
Tapia, 1918
N. bonarellii
Binomial name
Notoceratops bonarellii
Tapia, 1918
  • Notoceratops bonarelli Tapia, 1918; von Huene, 1929 (sic)
  • Notoceratops Bonarelli Tapia, 1918

Discovery and namingEdit

In 1918, palaeontologist Augusto Tapia (1893–1966) discovered the genus holotype. He also named the type species, N. bonarellii (originally spelt as Notoceratops Bonarelli), in 1918.[2] The generic name is derived from Greek notos, "the south", keras, "horn" and ops, "face". The specific name honours Guido Bonarelli (1871-1951), who advised Tapia in his study of the find. By present conventions the epithet is spelled bonarellii, thus without a capital B. In many later publications the specific name is misspelled "bonarelli", with a single "i", from the incorrect assumption it would be derived from a Latinised "Bonarell~ius". The fossil, found near the Lago Colhué Huapi in Chubut, was eventually described by Friedrich von Huene in 1929,[3] but it has since been lost.[4]


Originally referred as a ceratopsian by Tapia in 1918, it was later dismissed because no other members of that group were known from the Southern Hemisphere. However, the 2003 discovery of another possible ceratopsian, Serendipaceratops, from Australia could change this view.[5] Notoceratops has since been considered a nomen dubium and may have been a hadrosaur instead.[6] An analysis published by Tom Rich et al. in 2014, which focused on the validity of Serendipaceratops, also examined the published material from Notoceratops. They concluded that the holotype had ceratopsian features and that the genus is probably valid.[1]


  1. ^ a b Rich, Thomas H.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Sinclair, Robert; Chinnery, Brenda; Carpenter, Kenneth; McHugh, Mary L.; Vickers-Rich, Patricia (2014-10-02). "Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei Rich & Vickers-Rich, 2003 is an Australian Early Cretaceous ceratopsian". Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. 38 (4): 456–479. doi:10.1080/03115518.2014.894809. ISSN 0311-5518. S2CID 128686247.
  2. ^ Tapia, A. (1918), "Una mandibula de dinosaurio procedente de Patagonia", Physis 4: 369–370
  3. ^ F. von Huene, 1929, Los saurisquios y ornitisquios del Cretacéo Argentino. Anales del Museo de La Plata (series 3). 3, 1-196
  4. ^ Coria R, Cambiaso A (2007). "Ornithischia". In Gasparini Z, Salgado L, Coria R (eds.). Patagonian Mesozoic reptiles. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 167–187. ISBN 9780253348579. OCLC 758738548.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  5. ^ T. Rich and P. Vickers-Rich. 2003. Protoceratopsian? ulnae from Australia. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum Launceston 113:1-12
  6. ^ Ibiricu, Lucio M.; Martínez, Rubén D.; Lamanna, Matthew C.; Casal, Gabriel A.; Luna, Marcelo; Harris, Jerald D.; Lacovara, Kenneth J. (August 2010). "A Medium-Sized Ornithopod (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Upper Cretaceous Bajo Barreal Formation of Lago Colhué Huapi, Southern Chubut Province, Argentina" (PDF). Annals of Carnegie Museum. 79 (1): 39–50. doi:10.2992/007.079.0103. ISSN 0097-4463.