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Triceratops Bone

Triceratops Bone


Triceratops belongs to a large family of dinosaurs known as the Ceratopsids. Ceratopsids lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. All Ceratopsids are quadrupeds with bony frills, horns, and beak-like mouths.

This specimen is a fragment of Triceratops bone, recovered on private land in South Dakota from the Hell Creek Formation. Sizes and shapes vary widely on this specimen but they are all about 0.75" to 1.5" (2cm-3cm) in length. The specimen is housed within a glass-topped riker display case. The case measures 4"x3"x1". A small information card is also included.


More About Triceratops


"The observed instances of periosteal reactive bone and healing fractures are consistent with such non-random trauma, and the elevated rates of abnormal bone morphology within the frill bones are consistent with predictions from modeling of horn-to-horn combat. This suggests that the cranial ornamentation of ceratopsids, particularly Triceratops, was not only for visual display but that the horns also had a real role in physical combat."

~ Andrew A. Farke, Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology "Evidence of Combat in Triceratops" (2009)

In adulthood, Triceratops measured 29ft (9m) long and 10ft (3m) tall, with the head comprising nearly one-third the overall length. Studies of the incidence of lesions in the cranium and frill suggest that the Triceratops used its horns in combat and the frill was an adaptation for protection. In other studies, it was found that about one-third of the adult horn was hollow at its base, thus making it unlikely that the horns would be used for combat when they could be easily damaged.

Assessments of progressive changes in horn orientation and shape during adolescence indicate the possible visual identification of juveniles, and eventually the onset of sexual maturity. Furthermore, the horns may have been important for sexual displays (sexual dimorphism) or even species recognition amid large herds.

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