A newly identified horned dinosaur owes its name to a combination of Greek mythology and Marvel comics.
Michael Ryan, a scientist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, tells The Plain Dealer he wanted something memorable for the pickup truck-sized plant-eater that roamed the plains of Montana 78 million years ago.
To capture the strangeness of the creature, with its sharp beak, curved horns and enormous collar, Ryan settled on Medusaceratops lokii — drawing from the monster of Greek myth and the Norse god mischief. However, Ryan wasn’t inspired by the classical figure, but rather the Jack Kirby-designed Marvel supervillain.
“We had a lot of confusion with this,” Ryan tells the newspaper. “And if you look at the way they draw Loki in the original comic, he has this big helmet with these two giant hooks that come out of the top. So it’s coincidental that it all lines up. I thought it made a great name.”