Friday, 25 November 2022


Unescoceratops koppelhusae, Julius Csotonyi
A very sweet small leptoceratopsid dinosaur, Unescoceratops koppelhusae — a new species in the collections of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta.

The colourful and beautifully detailed painting you see here is by the very talented Julius Csotonyi who captured the magnificence of form, texture and palette to bring this small leptoceratopsid dinosaur to life.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, named in honour of Joseph Burr Tyrrell, is a palaeontology museum and research facility in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. 

This jaw is the holotype specimen of this small leptoceratopsid dinosaur. Only a handful of isolated fossils have been found from this species, including a jaw that is the holotype specimen now in collections at the Royal Tyrell. 

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, named in honour of Joseph Burr Tyrrell, is a palaeontology museum and research facility in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. 

Unescoceratops koppelhusae, RTMP Collections
The rusty chocolate jaw bone you see here is the puzzle piece that helped all of the research come together and help us to better understand more about the diminutive leptoceratopsid dinosaurs from Alberta. 

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Michael Ryan and David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto recently determined that the specimen was a new genus and species. 

Unescoceratops is a genus of leptoceratopsid ceratopsian dinosaurs known from the Late Cretaceous (about 76.5-75 million years ago) of Alberta, Canada. Unescoceratops is thought to have been between one and two meters long and less than 91 kilograms. A plant-eater, its teeth were the roundest of all Leptocertopsids.

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada
The genus name acknowledges the UNESCO  World Heritage Site, Dinosaur Provincial Park, where the fossil was found. 

In addition to its particularly beautiful scenery, Dinosaur Provincial Park – located at the heart of the province of Alberta's badlands – is unmatched in terms of the number and variety of high-quality specimens.

To date, they represent more than 44 species, 34 genera and 10 families of dinosaurs, dating back 75-77 million years. This provides us with remarkable insight into life millions of years ago.

The park contains exceptional riparian habitat features as well as badlands of outstanding aesthetic value.

The creamy honey, beige and rust coloured hills around the fossil locality are outstanding examples of major geological processes and fluvial erosion patterns in semi-arid steppes — think glorious! 

The scenic badlands stretch along 26 kilometres of high quality and virtually undisturbed riparian habitat, presenting a landscape of stark but exceptional natural beauty.

The species name honours Dr. Eva Koppelhus, who has made significant contributions to vertebrate palaeontology and palynology. 

The genus is named to honour the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the locality where the specimen was found and from the Greek “ceratops,” which means 'horned face'. 

Dr Michael Ryan explained that he meant to honour UNESCO's efforts to increase understanding of natural history sites around the world.

© Julius T. Csotonyi An illustration of Unescoceratops koppelhusae, a plant-eating dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period that lived approximately 75 million years ago shared with his gracious permission. 


Dr. Julius Csotonyi is a Vancouver-based scientific illustrator and natural history fine artist. He is a featured paleoartist on Season One of BC's Fossil Bounty. Julius has a scientific background in ecology (MSc) and microbiology (PhD) which has taken him to study sensitive ecosystems, from sand dunes in the Rocky Mountain parks to hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. 

These experiences have fuelled his strong resolve to work toward preserving our Earth’s biota. Painting biological subjects is one means that he uses to both enhance public awareness of biological diversity and to motivate concern for its welfare.   

He paints murals and panels that have appeared in numerous museums including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, press release images for scientific publications, books, stamp sets — including the outstanding 2018 “Sharks of Canada” set for Canada Post — and coins for the Royal Canadian Mint. To view more of Julius Csotonyi's exquisite work visit: