Long-horned dinosaur is found

The fossilised skull of a dinosaur with the longest horns yet discovered has been unearthed in Mexico by scientists.

The animal probably used its magnificent appendages to attract mates and ward off other males – much as modern-day deer do – rather than as a defence against predators, experts said.

The five-ton dinosaur with two 4ft horns directly over each eye lived about 72 million years ago in a warm, swampy region located at the southern end of an island continent which had been split in two by a shallow sea running from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Arctic Sea in the north.

Scientists have called the new species of plant-eating dinosaur Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna. It belonged to the horned dinosaurs, or ceratopsids, and was armed with two particularly large horns above each eye socket.

Although complete horns have not been excavated from the fossil site in Mexico, the researchers have estimated them to be up to 4ft long – longer than those of its more famous cousin, Triceratops.

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