August 3, 2010 2 Comments
Growing up, what child didn’t love the Triceratops? You know, the dinosaur with the classic trademarked 3 facial horns? Well, what some people may not know is that there is another dinosaur that shared very similar physical characteristics. It was called Torosaurus.
The only obvious differences that I could find between the two were that the angle of the horns were different and the neck-frill on the Torosaurus was thinner, much smoother and it had two holes in it. Now researchers and scientists are saying that the Triceratops is actually a Torosaurus that wasn’t fully developed or matured. Researchers are also saying that the angle of the Triceratops horns changed direction as the dinosaur aged. When the dinosaur fully reached maturity, holes formed in its neck-frill.
John Scannella and Jack Horner at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana analyzed 9 skulls of each specimen. They noticed that the oldest Triceratops skull started to have thinning in the neck-frill bone right where the holes would appear.
Scannella also said that the neck-frill on Triceratops was theorized as a self defense mechanism, may be a way to show the animals maturity.
So what does this mean? Well no worries to the Triceratops fans, though researchers are saying that the Triceratops and the Torosaurus are the same species, all Torosaurus will be reclassified as Triceratops.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. One thing many people may not know, is that the famous Brontosaurus isn’t a real dinosaur, it is actually a Apatasaurus.