The Online Library of Knowledge

Dinosaur species

Triceratops

A herd of Triceratops A herd of Triceratops Triceratops was a ceratopsian dinosaur that lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period—in fact, right at the very end of the Age of Dinosaurs. It had a massive head with long snout, behind which was a massive, upward-curving sheet of solid bone, called a neck frill. Triceratops means “three-horned face”. Projecting out from its skull were two long brow horns and a shorter nose horn. It had a parrot-like beak and jaws lined with many teeth, which it used to chomp its way through the toughest of plant foods. Four stocky legs supported its heavy, tough-skinned body.

TriceratopsTriceratops

Neck frill

Triceratops's frill helped protect its neck.Triceratops's frill helped protect its neck.Among the ceratopsian dinosaurs, only Triceratops had a frill that was made of solid bone. Its relatives had hollows in their frills covered with skin, which made them lighter. Triceratops's neck frill would protect help protect it from an attack to the back of the neck. It might also help the dinosaur to look bigger, meaner and more threatening than it actually was.



The skin on the frill increased Triceratops's body surface area, helping it to warm up or shed heat more quickly. In males, the size and magnificence of their frills, which might have been brightly coloured, could have served them well when displaying to females during courtship.
Triceratops displays its neck frill.Triceratops displays its neck frill.

Triceratops's head was about one third of its complete length.

© 2019 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile