Ava the dinosaur (Photo: Triebold Paleontology Inc.)

Ava the dinosaur is not very big: a kindergartner could look it in the eye. “This is a really cute dinosaur, if dinosaurs can be cute,’ Michael Triebold, the fossil hunter who helped uncover it, told CBS News.

Ava’s bones were first found three years ago, in the Judith River Formation in Montana, and as the fossils were uncovered and used to create a display model, the paleontologists realized they might have discovered something special: a new species of dinosaur.

Their hunch has not been independently confirmed yet, but the staff at Triebold’s Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park is convinced that there are enough differences between this dinosaur and others on record to make it distinct. It is similar to the Avaceratops, which is why it’s nicknamed Ava. But it’s missing key features, like a nose horn. 

Although the triceratops is the best-known dinosaur of the certopsidae group of dinosaur, there have been dozens of dinosaurs identified that have beaks, horns and frills. Like its relatives, Ava would have eaten plants. Imagine, basically, a baby rhino, except a lizard with horns, and you’re about there.

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Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.