Triceratops was a rhinoceros-like dinosaur.It is the most famous ceratopsian and one of the most famous dinosaurs next to T-rex

Description Edit

It walked on four sturdy legs and had three horns on its face along with a large bony plate projecting from the back of its skull (a frill). One short horn above its parrot-like beak and two longer horns (over 3 feet or 1 m long) above its eyes probably provided protection from predators. The horns were possibly used in mating rivalry and rituals. It had a large skull, up to 10 feet (3 m) long, one of the largest skulls of any land animal ever discovered. Its head was nearly one-third as long as its body. Triceratops hatched from eggs.Triceratops was about 30 feet long (9 m), 10 feet tall (3 m), and weighed up to 6-12 tons. It had a short, pointed tail, a bulky body, column-like legs with hoof-like claws, and a bony neck frill rimmed with bony bumps. It had a parrot-like beak, many cheek teeth, and powerful jaws.Triceratops lived in the late Cretaceous, about 72 to 65 million years ago, toward the end of the Mesozoic, the Age of Reptiles. It was among the last of the dinosaur species to evolve before the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction 65 million years ago. Among the contemporaries of Triceratops were Tyrannosaurus rex (which probably preyed upon Triceratops), Ankylosaurus (an armored herbivore), Corythosaurus (a crested dinosaur), and Dryptosaurus (a meat-eating dinosaur).Triceratops was probably a herding animal, like the other Ceratopsians.This hypothesis is supported by the finding of bone beds and trackways.When threatened by predators,Triceratops probably charged into its enemy like the modern-day rhinoceros does. This was probably a very effective defense.Triceratops was an herbivore, a plant eater (a primary consumer).It probably ate cycads and other low-lying plants with its tough beak. Triceratops could chew well with its cheek teeth (like other Ceratopsians, but unlike most other dinosaurs).

Triceratops was hunted and eaten by T. rex.Coprolite (fossilized feces)from a T. rex was recently found in Saskatchewan,Canadaby a team led by Karen Chin. This 65 million year old specimen contains chunks of bones from an herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaur which was eaten by the T. rex. This bone fragment is perhaps part of the head frill of aTriceratops.Triceratops walked on four short legs; it was a relatively slow dinosaur. Dinosaur speeds are estimated using their morphology (characteristics like leg length and estimated body mass) and fossilized trackways. Many Triceratops fossils have been found, mostly in western Canada and the western United States.Paleontologist Othniel Marsh named Triceratops in 1889 - from a fossil found near Denver, Colorado, USA. At first this fossil was mistakenly identified as an extinct species of buffalo. The first Triceratops skull was found in 1888 by John Bell Hatcher. About 50 Triceratops skulls and some partial skeletons have been found.

Popular CultureEdit

Triceratops is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs due to its rhinoceros-like appeareance.It is very popular and has been featured in movies,games and books.