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Horner was informed that he would no longer be allowed to exploit the Willow Creek site, where he had studied the Maiasaura Egg Mountain nesting colony for six years.Having already made extensive arrangements for a new field season, he was suddenly forced to seek an alternative site.) is a genus of ceratopsid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America, about 74.2 million years ago.The first fossils of Achelousaurus were collected in Montana in 1987, by a team led by Jack Horner, with more finds made in 1989.As a ceratopsian, it walked on all fours, had a short tail and a large head with a hooked beak.It had a bony neck-frill at the rear of the skull, which sported a pair of long spikes, which curved towards the outside.
Achelousaurus is known from the Two Medicine Formation and lived in the island continent of Laramidia.In 1994, in a talk during the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, he named "Taxon C" as a new genus and species, Achelousaurus horneri.Although an abstract was published containing a sufficient description, it did not identify a holotype, a name-bearing specimen.They proposed that the expeditions had uncovered three "transitional taxa" spanning the gap between the already known Styracosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus. The oldest form was indicated as "Transitional Taxon A", mainly represented by skull MOR 492.Then came "Taxon B" – the many skeletons of the Dinosaur Ridge Quarry and the Canyon Bone Bed.
It has been suggested that it was the direct descendant of the similar genus Einiosaurus (which has spikes but no bosses) and the direct ancestor of Pachyrhinosaurus (which has larger bosses).