A dinosaur discovered in Montana by an amateur paleontologist in 2005 has now been recognized as a new species by the Canadian Museum of Nature. The find was made in the Judith River Formation in Canada.

Spiclypeus shipporum was an example of a ceratopsid dinosaur known for the elaborate head design. These structures include head frills and horns growing from the face of the herbivore.

The name Spiclypeus derives from Latin, meaning "spiked shield," while shipporum recognizes the Shipp family, on whose land the dinosaur was found. However, the extinct species is now being called by a moniker, which places tribute to the area where the remains were discovered — Judith.

About 76 million years ago, near what is today Winifred, Montana, the dinosaur perished before becoming fossilized. The remains were unseen by human eyes until the fossil was found by Bill Shipp, a retired nuclear physicist, as he explored his newly purchased land.

"This is a spectacular new addition to the family of horned dinosaurs that roamed western North America between 85 and 66 million years ago. It provides new evidence of dinosaur diversity during the Late Cretaceous period from an area that is likely to yield even more discoveries," Jordan Mallon, a paleontologist with the museum, said.

The ancient fossil consists of half a skull, hips, backbone and part of the animal's legs. Spiclypeus is differentiated by spikes that extend sideways near the creature's eye sockets, as well as spikes that emanate from the frilly head adornment. Examination of the fossils reveals Judith likely suffered from arthritis in the upper arm, as well as a bone infection, which may have made the left forearm unsuitable for walking. These conditions likely lead to years of pain for the fully grown creature, which probably lived to be at least 10 years old. Judith's remains are currently housed at the museum, which purchased them in 2015.

Spiclypeus is the ninth dinosaur species now known to have made their homes in the Judith River Formation. Although many of these animals could be found elsewhere, the lone discovery of Spiclypeus suggests this animal may have only lived in Montana. This may have been due to a diet tied to a particular localized vegetation, researchers suggest.

Analysis of the remains of Judith was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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