Triceratops is one of the most recognizable species in the dinosauria kingdom- because of three horned and frilly outlook or maybe because it’s Tyranno’s favorite food? The majority is vast and answers few, so let us take a look at some interesting facts about Triceratops that will help you decide why you must like this dinosaur!
Triceratops existed 68 million years ago in Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. That’s where T-Rex lived too, by the way!
2. Existed in Abundance
Triceratops existed in abundance! Paleontologist John Scannella observed: “It is hard to walk out into the Hell Creek Formation and not stumble upon a Triceratops weathering out of a hillside.” 47 complete and partial skeletons have been recovered in just that area. Talk about dying by each other’s side.
Source: wikipedia, Image: jurassicworld.com
3. Significance of Frills
Traditionally, the frills on Triceratops’ head have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. Recently new theories have been evolved, suggesting that these features were primarily used in identification, courtship and dominance displays just like reindeer, mountain goats and rhino beetles.
4. Tri or Bi-ceratops?
Triceratops are called so because of the three horns they possess but the third very small horn on its snout is made up of proteins like those found in human hair or fingernails. The third horn must not have been very useful while on a tiff.
Source: about.com, Image: jurassicworld.com
5. Huge Skull
The most distinctive feature of Triceratops was its skull, undoubtedly, but did you also know that its skull made one-third of its whole body too? Indeed, it was massive. It was common in the family of these species to have a big head and the reason given behind it is that it must’ve been sexually attractive for a male dino to have a bigger skull to attract its female counterpart. Additionally, Titanoceratops had the biggest skull. Very aptly named though.
Source: about.com, Image: imagesweneed.com
6. Would You Like Your Triceratops Baked or Sauteed?
Sure, T-Rex won’t mind any cooking style since he can even chew it uncooked if he is out of gas. Apparently, Triceratops was one popular option in T-Rex’s menu. I’d be lying if I say Tyrannosaurs Rex v/s Triceratops is not worth watching!
Source: about.com, Image: thebattlebetween.com
7. Parrot Beaked?
One of the least common facts about Triceratops is that it has a beak similar to birds like parrots to clip off the vegetation. Triceratops also had “batteries” of shearing teeth in its jaws. As one set of teeth wore down, they would be replaced by those from the adjacent battery. This process continued throughout this dinosaur’s lifetime.
8. Ancestors Were Cats?
Not really, but they were definitely the size of one! Chaoyangsaurus, one of the oldest Ceratopsian, weighed just 16 kilograms and didn’t have even the slightest hint of any horns.
Amazing how things can just evolve like that!
9. A Bison?
In 19th century, Othneil C. Marsh discovered a Triceratops’ partial skull with horns intact from the parts of Western America. He assigned the skull to the grass eating mammal Bison Alticornis which surprisingly didn’t evolve until few million years later! Owing to his reputation, he quickly reversed his blunder.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
10. Survived Till the Brink of K/T Extinction
For all (most of) the people who do not know about the K/T Extinction, it is the period where the dinosaurs were rendered extinct because of catastrophic reasons about 66 millions year ago! The fossil remains of Triceratops date to the very end of the Cretaceous period. By this time, paleontologists believe that the resulting loss of diversity virtually guaranteed their quick extinction. Along with its other plant-eaters, Triceratops was therefore extinct by the loss of its accustomed vegetation, as clouds of dust circled the globe during this extinction crisis.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia