The rhino of the dinosaur world, with three big horns and a frill on the back of its head, this is one very iconic dinosaur.
Meaning of name: Three-horned face.
Size: 7-9 meters (25-29 feet) long.
Species: Triceratops prorsus and Triceratops horridus.
Classifications: Marginocephalia, Ceratopsia, Neoceratopsia, Ceratopsidae, Ceratopsinae, Chasmosaurini/Chasmosaurinae.
Time period: Maastrichtian stage (Late Cretaceous).
Named by: Othniel C. Marsh in 1889.
If today’s rhinos could pick how they looked, they would look like Triceratops. Triceratops was the biggest of the long-frilled chasmosaurine ceratopsians, it’s frill wasn’t as big as those of some of its relatives, but it was solid bone with no holes or openings. Weighing in at 4.5 tonnes, this animal, although not as tall as an elephant, was certainly heavier than one.
It is interesting to note that T. prorsus was not only bigger, but rarer, than T. horridus. Some scientists think that they may actually have been one and the same species, with the larger individuals being the males while the smaller adults are females. This makes sense, seeing as it is theorised that they lived in patriarchal herds (a herd where a single male leads) and that when mating season came, males would fight not only for the right to mate, but also for leadership of the herd.
With eyebrow horns a little over one meter long, a full grown triceratops was a force to be reckoned with, an animal that even T. rex would think twice about attacking…
This was Triceratops, this has been me, and you’ve been reading Palaeontology Made Easy.
Here are the links to Stegosaurus: https://prehistoricearthblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/stegosaurus/ and Tyrannosaurus rex: https://prehistoricearthblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/tyrannosaurus-rex/