Pronunciation: ROO-gops Meaning: Wrinkle Face Author/s: Sereno, Wilson and Conrad (2004) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: Agadez, Niger Chart Position: 434
Rugops is an abelisaur; the deep and blunt-snouted carnivores who terrorized the southern continents, just like the tyrannosaurs were doing in the North. Its lightweight skull (the only part ever found) was riddled with divets and dimples and had two mysterious rows of seven holes on its snout. These may have acted as anchor points for scales or armour, or scales and armour, or maybe, as the name suggests, its face was completely hidden behind a gnarly keratin mask.
(First wrinkle face)EtymologyRugops is derived from the Latin "Ruga" (wrinkle) and the Greek "opsi" (face) because of the wrinkled texture of the external skull surface.
The species epithet, primus, means "first" in Latin and refers to its significance as one of the earliest abelisaurids.
DiscoveryThe fossils Rugops were discovered in the Echkar Formation (Tegama Group) near Iguidi (aka In Abangharit), Agadez, Niger Republic, by Hans Larsson in 2000.
The holotype (MNN IGU1) is a partial skull.