triceratops skull anatomy

[73], In 2006, the first extensive ontogenetic study of Triceratops was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society. The first two might be junior synonyms of Pachycephalosaurus. Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the late Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago (mya) in what is now North America. [11] He was largely ignored, with John Ostrom,[35] and later David Norman placing Triceratops within the Centrosaurinae. [14] She found that T. horridus and several other species belonged together, and T. prorsus and T. brevicornus stood alone, and since there were many more specimens in the first group, she suggested that this meant the two groups were two species. [78][79], Opinion has varied on the validity of a separate genus for Nedoceratops. Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on the skull, and its large four-legged body possessing similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best-known ceratopsid. The remains also show signs of predation or scavenging from Tyrannosaurus, particularly on the largest specimen, with the bones of the front limbs showing breakage and puncture wounds from Tyrannosaurus teeth. Three ankylosaurians are known, Ankylosaurus, Denversaurus, and possibly a species of Edmontonia or an undescribed genus. [23], Like all chasmosaurines, Triceratops had a large skull relative to its body size. Skull … It was also one of the largest, up to 9 meters (30 ft) long and 12 metric tons (13 short tons) in weight. As described above, John Scannella had argued in 2010 that Nedoceratops should be considered a synonym of Triceratops. [24], The rather short and high vertebrae of the back were in its middle region reinforced by ossified tendons running along the tops of the neural arches. Triceratops also possessed smaller hornlike projections on the jugal bones (cheekbones). The study, by John R. Horner and Mark Goodwin, found that individuals of Triceratops could be divided into four general ontogenetic groups, babies, juveniles, subadults, and adults. Triceratops obtusus, the "stumpy one", was based on specimen USNM 4720 with an obtuse nose horn. [33] In the first overview of horned dinosaurs, R. S. Lull hypothesized the existence of two lineages, one of Monoclonius and Centrosaurus leading to Triceratops, the other with Ceratops and Torosaurus, making Triceratops a centrosaurine as the group is understood today. Body Size. For many years after its discovery, the deeper evolutionary origins of Triceratops and its close relatives remained largely obscure. Paleontologists estimate that the body length of Triceratops approached 9 metres (30 feet). [76] A paper describing these findings in detail was published in July 2010 by Scannella and Horner. [19] The most distinctive feature is their large skull, among the largest of all land animals. [13] Further research by Peter Dodson, including a 1990 cladistic analysis and a 1993 study using RFTRA (resistant-fit theta-rho analysis), a morphometric technique which systematically measures similarities in skull shape, reinforces Triceratops' placement in the chasmosaurines. [37][38], The cladogram below follows Longrich (2014), who named a new species of Pentaceratops, and included nearly all species of chasmosaurine. Mammals are plentiful in the Hell Creek Formation. On the top, a Triceratops skull characterized by a short frill without holes. In 1922, the newly discovered Protoceratops was seen as its ancestor by Henry Fairfield Osborn,[5] but many decades passed before additional findings came to light. When the first specimen was discovered in 1887, it was mistaken for a gigantic species of extinct bison. This game is part of a tournament. [5] This is the holotype YPM 1820. Approximately 50% of all subadult Triceratops skulls have two thin areas in the frill that correspond with the placement of "holes" in Torosaurus skulls, suggesting that holes developed to offset the weight that would otherwise have been added as maturing Triceratops individuals grew longer frills. Triceratops flabellatus, the "fan-shaped", was based on skull YPM 1821. Traditionally, this was assumed to have incorporated the first three vertebrae which would imply that the frontmost atlas was very large and sported a neural spine. Anatomy: Triceratops had three horns on its face along with a large bony plate projecting from the back of its skull (called a frill). Today's Rank--0. [20], The assertion ignited debate. Triceratops was traditionally placed within the "short-frilled" ceratopsids but modern cladistic studies show it to be a member of the Chasmosaurinae which usually have long frills. [24], Although certainly quadrupedal, the posture of horned dinosaurs has long been the subject of some debate. [24], In phylogenetic taxonomy, the genus Triceratops has been used as a reference point in the definition of Dinosauria; dinosaurs have been designated as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of Triceratops and Neornithes (i.e. The largest-known skull (specimen MWC 7584, formerly BYU 12183) is estimated to have been 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) in length when complete,[20] and could reach almost a third of the length of the entire animal. [98] Paleontologist Bob Bakker said of the imagined rivalry between Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, "No matchup between predator and prey has ever been more dramatic. [77] Nicholas Longrich and Daniel Fields also did not consider it a transition between Torosaurus and Triceratops, suggesting that the frill holes were pathological.[79]. [42] In 2012, a group of three Triceratops in relatively complete condition, each of varying sizes from a full-grown adult to a small juvenile, were found in Wyoming, near Newcastle. Add to New Playlist. The fossils, he argued, are indistinguishable from the T. horridus specimens that were previously attributed to the defunct species T. serratus. [93], Triceratops is the official state fossil of South Dakota,[96] and the official state dinosaur of Wyoming. [4] Cowboy Edmund B. Wilson had been startled by the sight of a monstrous skull poking out of the side of a ravine. Research published in 2010 concluded that the contemporaneous Torosaurus, a ceratopsid long regarded as a separate genus, represents Triceratops in its mature form. The additional skulls varied to a lesser or greater degree from the original Triceratops specimen. [24], Early on, Lull postulated that the frills may have served as anchor points for the jaw muscles to aid chewing by allowing increased size and thus power for the muscles. Triceratops is one of the most familiar genera of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs; it is recognized by its distinctive skull, with three horns and massive frill made up of the parietal and paired squamosals. 15 in ) long formations, but mostly from the one feature of a Triceratops.! To other members of the last-known non-avian dinosaur genera, and eutherians in December 1889, Marsh reported a brain. Bone diseases, are suggested as causes a triangular process jutted out into the nostril 47 ], Triceratops a. 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