Smallest Triceratops skull described

Mar 06, 2006
Smallest Triceratops skull described
An adult Triceratops skull, fully six feet long, dwarfs the foot-long skull of a year-old Triceratops (bottom center). The pair are on display in the Marion Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library in the Valley Life Sciences Building. (Photos by Mark Goodwin, UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology)

A cast of a foot-long skull from the youngest Triceratops dinosaur every discovered is now on display at the University of California-Berkeley.

Despite the pup's size, its remains are telling scientists a lot about how dinosaurs grew, the purpose of their head ornaments and the characteristics of their ancestors.

"The baby Triceratops confirmed our argument that the horns and frill of the skull likely had another function other than sexual display or competition with rivals, which people have often argued, and allows us to propose they were just as important for species recognition and visual communication in these animals," UC-Berkeley paleontologist Mark Goodwin said.

Triceratops horridus was a North American dinosaur, although ceratopsian relatives with different, but equally formidable ornamentation, roamed China and Mongolia during the Cretaceous period, 65 to 144 million years ago. Adult Triceratops could be nearly 10 feet tall and 26 feet long.

The baby's skull -- discovered by amateur fossil hunter Harley Garbani in 1997 in Montana -- is described by Goodwin in the March issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ads effective even in the midst of multitasking, studies find

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cichlid sisters swim together in order to reach the goal

31 minutes ago

The manner and routes of dispersal vary with the species and the ecological conditions. Many fish form shoals to avoid predation. Shoaling with familiar conspecifics affords the fish an even greater advantage ...

Nanotechnology changes behavior of materials

51 minutes ago

One of the reasons solar cells are not used more widely is cost—the materials used to make them most efficient are expensive. Engineers are exploring ways to print solar cells from inks, but the devices ...

New algorithm resolves Wi-Fi interference problems

51 minutes ago

To overcome the problem of interference between wireless networks, a doctoral student at EPFL has developed an algorithm that automatically selects the best frequency band according to the usage of neighboring ...

'Predicted' zeolites may fuel efficient processes

1 hour ago

(Phys.org)—Scientists at Rice University and the University of Minnesota have identified synthetic materials that may purify ethanol more efficiently and greatly improve the separation of long-chain hydrocarbons ...

Gullies on Vesta suggest past water-mobilized flows

1 hour ago

(Phys.org)—Protoplanet Vesta, visited by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2013, was once thought to be completely dry, incapable of retaining water because of the low temperatures and pressures at its ...

Recommended for you

Retreat of multiculturalism 'is a myth'

3 hours ago

Perceptions of a decline in multiculturalism as a means of integrating ethnic minorities are unfounded, research led at the University of Strathclyde has found.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.