The Triceratops existed in the Late Cretaceous period, in what is now North America. It grew to about 9.5 ft tall, and weighed 13k-26k Lbs (6.69 Tons or so), and was about 27 ft long. It’s estimated that the frill on its head was so strong, even a Tyrannosaurus couldn’t bite through it. The Triceratops (sometimes shortened to Trike) was an Herbivore that mostly ate tough palm fronds, and despite its fearsome appearance, it likely was a more calm dinosaur that mostly defended its own, and wasn’t an aggressor.
Triceratops Behaviour & Diet
It was also known for its Herding instincts. There were plenty of other horned dinosaurs that were known to have lived in herds, since they can watch out for each other and warn each other of potential dangers, thereby lessening their chances of being singled out. But, the Triceratops was unusual, their remains were usually found by themselves. They spent a good chunk of their lives alone, or in small family groups.
These amazing dinosaurs were herbivores. Because of their low-slung heads, they most likely ate low-growing vegetation like bushes and berries. They potentially had around 400+ teeth in their jaw, of which only a fraction was in active use at any one time. They most likely had approximately 3-5 rows of teeth in each column, and they had anywhere from 30-40 columns of teeth.
Body Structure, Growth & Shape
Their body shape and skull allowed them to take some fairly strong bites or attacks from other dinosaurs while defending themselves, their young, and similar. Most Triceratops specimens are known for the partial or mostly full skeletal bone structures that are found in paleontology today. Their back legs were a bit taller than their front legs, and their tail was likely relatively short.
The functions of their frill & the horns on their head have been the debate of many debates & speculation. There are a couple of theories that are commonly accepted. It was used in combat to defend itself, but it may have also been used in courtship displays, with the latter being its primary function, most likely. In combat, there is evidence in the fossil records that Tyrannosaurs had head-on encounters with Triceratops, though it is unknown which one was the aggressor.
Triceratops’ Growth Cycle
The first extensive studies of the Trike growth cycle were done in 2006 by John R. Horner & Mark Goodwin. They discovered that individuals of the Trike could be divided into four ontogenetic groups, with a total of 28 skulls being studied. These are Babies, Juveniles, Subadults, and Adults.
There have been many opinions, which have varied the validity of a separate genus, Nedoceratops. It was originally regarded as an intermediate growth stage between the Triceratops & Torosaurus. But in 2011, a description was concluded that it was an individual of its own taxonomy.
There are other similar Ceratopsids, like the Styracosaurus, the Torosaurus, and others. We will be writing about these dinosaurs as well and will link to them here when we do. Although the Triceratops was a very popular dinosaur, we still are learning things about them to this day, which is amazing.
Triceratops In Media
The Trike is well-known in pop culture and various digital media like video games & movies. Some popular franchises that feature a Triceratops include Jurassic Park (movie), The Land Before Time (TV Movie), The Isle (video game), Path of Titans (video game; subspecies like Eotrike), Land of the Lost, and others.
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