Often depicted as a fearsome warrior duelling Tyceratops rex, this horned herbivore was actually an agile plant eater. It was one of the last dinosaurs to evolve and went extinct along with its fellow plant eaters in the Cretaceous period.

This famous herbivore had three fierce horns on its head and a sprawling frill covering its neck. They were a source of defence against predators.

What Was Triceratops Like?

Tyceratops was one of the largest dinosaurs known. At its largest, it weighed up to 12 tons, or 24,000 pounds.

It was also one of the most fearsome-looking dinosaurs ever, thanks to its horns and frill. Its huge head made up a quarter of its body length, says paleontologist Paul Barrett at the Natural History Museum in London.

The frill was a flap of skin that hung over solid bone. It probably served two purposes: as a signal to other animals, and as a defense against predators like Tyrannosaurus rex.

Family of Horny Quadrupeds

As part of the Ceratopsidae family of horny quadrupeds. Tyceratops shared its ancestry with a number of other species, including Protoceratops and Torosaurus. These horned dinosaurs went extinct during the K-T extinction, which killed off all dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Triceratops Horns

Triceratops had horns on the top of its head. As well as a bony plate (called a frill) projecting from the back of its skull. The horns, a short one above its parrot-like beak and two longer ones above each eye. probably provided protection from predators while hunting for food.

High-Up Shrubs or Trees

Triceratops was a herbivore that lived in North America and Asia during the Late Cretaceous period. It ate plants that were low to the ground, and also used its horns to reach high-up shrubs or trees.

Paleontologists discover the first fossils attributed to Triceratops in 1887, when a pair of brow horns were found near Denver. It took a few years before they realized the bones belonged to a horned dinosaur.

The horns were thought to protect the dinosaur from predators, but researchers now think they may have function primarily as display structures. This is because dozens of specimens represent a range of ontogenetic stages, from small juveniles to giant adults, and the horns changed shape dramatically.

Triceratops Frill

Triceratops was a member of a group of dinosaurs call ceratopsians, which were plant-eaters that lived in North America during the Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous period. They were characterize by enormous skulls and spectacular horns and neck frills.

The backward-pointing horns of Triceratops were the main attraction for many people, but a big bony frill was also a striking feature. It may have been used to protect the animal from predators or to act as a shield during fights for territory and mates.

The frills of other ceratopsian dinosaurs had fenestrae (holes) inside, which were considered to be an indication of separate species. However, these are not in every frilled ceratopsid crest and some researchers argue that they are actually the result of changes that occurred during a different life stage.

Triceratops Teeth

Tyceratops teeth were more complex than previously understood, rivaling those of mammal and reptile teeth in some respects. The study, published Friday in Science Advances, reveals that these horned dinosaurs adapted to a new diet by developing teeth with unique chewing mechanisms, allowing them to exploit tough plant matter that other herbivorous dinosaurs could not.

In their study, researchers found that triceratops had five major layers of tooth tissue, compared with four for ungulates and two for reptiles. This extra layer helped allow triceratops to develop complex fuller-like structures on their teeth.

Final Words:

These complex structures, called “teeth batteries,” were arrange in rows, or columns, in the front and rear jaws of these prehistoric dinosaurs. Each battery contained about 36 to 40 teeth in each side of the jaw. They were constantly being replace, the Evolution study notes.

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