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Dinosaur species

Styracosaurus

The head of StyracosaurusThe head of Styracosaurus Styracosaurus was a ceratopsian, a horned dinosaur, that lived in North America in the Late Cretaceous Period, 76–66 million years ago, possibly living in the same environment as its relative, Triceratops. Styracosaurus had a long nose horn and a massive neck frill with six long spikes sticking out from around its edge. There were smaller knobs around the lower rim of frill, and small horns on each cheek. Its skull was massive, with a toothless beak. Styracosaurus's stocky, rhinoceros-like body had a short tail.


Styracosaurus flees from T. rex.Styracosaurus flees from T. rex.

Spiky frill

Styracosaurus’s spiky frill was not solid bone but had wide openings covered in skin. Its longest spikes (and nose horn) were about 55 centimetres (22 inches) or about the average length of an adult human arm.

No one knows exactly what the frill was for. It may have protected the animal's neck and shoulders from attack. The large areas of skin over it may have also helped to regulate its body temperature, performing the same function as an elephant’s ears. In males the frill could have been used in fights with rival males, or to show off when in courtship with females.
 

Ceratopsians

A male Styracosaurus's frill may have actually changed colour during his courtship display.

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