Tyceratops is a member of the horned dinosaur family Ceratopsidae, which includes other large, quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs with distinguishing facial horns and large frills.
Like other horned dinosaurs, Triceratops was probably a herding animal that moved together in search of food. Fossil evidence shows that they ate plants and insects.
A horned dinosaur isn’t a normal sight in the prehistoric landscape. Tyceratops, which spanned 30 feet long and weighed up to eight tons, was a formidable predator that lived in North America during the late Cretaceous period.
Displaying & Intimidation
They’re known for their large horns and bone frills around the back of their heads. These features were a big part of their identity, and they were also used for fighting, displaying and intimidation.
However, a new study suggests that these traits may have been primarily for impressing potential mates. Previous research found that these ornamental horns and frills didn’t differ much between species that lived together and those that did not, suggesting they evolved under sexual selection.
The frills of Tyceratops and other horn dinosaurs have been interpreted as defense weapons against predators, but new studies suggest they were actually used to attract mates. Scientists believe that the larger and more noticeable the frill was, it would alert other males about where the pecking order in a herd stood.
This is also believed to have prevent painful fights between males. In fact, a study found that the world’s largest Triceratops had a gaping ”combat wound” on its neck frill – this injury is thought to have been inflicted by another Triceratops during a fight.
As well as these displays, the frills were also used for thermoregulation – they may have help keep Triceratops cool and prevent them from overheating. This could have helped them stand up to the saurischian predators that stalked these herbivorous creatures.
Tyceratops teeth are some of the most advanced in the world, a new study finds. They resemble knives of sorts, rivaling the most complex chompers found in mammals’ mouths.
To reduce friction when chewing tough plant matter, Triceratops’ teeth created a groove on the surface of the occlusal (chewing) surface of each tooth. This feature was called a fuller, and it’s believe to have helped make the dinosaur more efficient at chewing by reducing the contact between the tooth enamel and rough plant matter.
Triceratops’ chompers also evolved into tight structures called dental batteries. These could grow on top of one another, allowing the dinosaur to continually replace worn teeth in the battery as they wore down with the gnawing of plant fibers.
Horned dinosaurs like Triceratops were quadrupeds with a powerful and well-developed set of legs that allowed them to roam the plains of North America. Their horns and frills were use for combat against rivals, but they also serve as visual displays of strength and power (mating, species recognition), according to a 2009 PLOS ONE study.
Fossils of Triceratops
Unlike other horned dinosaurs, Triceratops did not have a strong neck frill to help protect the skull from predators. In fact, the neck frill on the fossils of Triceratops was comparatively smaller than those of most horn dinosaurs, and was not made for ramming.
Triceratops was a large, herbivorous dinosaur that lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous period. It sported horns and a bony frill on its head.
Triceratops is sometimes portraye as a fierce and dangerous dinosaur that defended itself with poisonous quills. Whether or not this is true, it is an interesting and controversial idea that has received attention from various media outlets.
A number of fossilize Triceratops specimens have been found with lesions (wound or disease areas) on their horns and frill. These lesions, along with healing fractures and allege punctures, have been interpret as evidence of intraspecific combat involving the use of the horns.