MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.

$ 17,999.00 

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MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.

This incredible, gem-quality Triceratops horn is unlike any other, a true one-of-a-kind item! 21" circumference and weighs 28.4lbs!

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.

As you might expect, there is evidence that the frill and horns were used as defensive weapons against predators such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, including partially-healed frills and brow horns with Tyrannosaurid tooth marks. However, this is far from settled science.

Above: Triceratops Prorsus by Othniel C. Marsh, The Ceratopsia (1907)

Assessments of progressive changes in horn orientation and shape during adolescence also 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.

About the Horn

This specimen is a gem-quality Triceratops horn fragment, recovered on private land in Butte County, South Dakota from the Hell Creek Formation. It is approximately 66,000,000 years old.

 

Above: The fragment features a single polished face to reveal the gem-quality beauty within while preserving the rough texture fo the horn itself.

Roughly 1/3 the length of a complete supraorbital horn, this horn fragment measures 13" (33cm) long with a circumference of 21" (53cm). As a gem-quality fossil, it is incredibly dense, weighing in at 28.4 lbs (12.9kg).

Please Note: If you're having a hard time visualizing the size and heft of this specimen, it's equivalent to a good-sized watermelon stuffed with two 14 lb. bowling balls. ­čŹë+­čÄ│+­čÄ│

While gem-quality dinosaur bones are relatively plentiful in some formations, the geochemistry of the Hell Creek formation is not particularly conducive to agate formation. It happens but it is rare, and finding Triceratops horns of this size in an agatized state is almost unheard of.

Above: The polished face of the fossil reveals the beautiful, gem-quality material at the heart of the horn. 

Please Note: Triceratops horn (non-agatized) also appears in the Age of Dinosaurs collection. Once we've finished production on this edition, we will likely offer other (non-agatized) Triceratops horn fragments as stand-alone items.

 

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.

Above: Triceratops Prorsus by Othniel C. Marsh, The Ceratopsia (1907)

In addition, the presence of blood vessels in the frill suggests that these features could be used in identification, courtship, and dominance displays, much like the antlers and horns of modern reindeer, mountain goats, or rhinoceros beetles. The blood vessels also point to the possibility that the frill served to help regular body temperature.

Further Reading

Hatcher, John Bell, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Othniel Charles Marsh. The Ceratopsia. Vol. 49. US Government Printing Office, 1907.

Scannella, John B., and John R. Horner. "Torosaurus Marsh, 1891, is Triceratops Marsh, 1889 (Ceratopsidae: Chasmosaurinae): synonymy through ontogeny." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30.4 (2010): 1157-1168.

Brusatte, Stephen L. Dinosaur Paleobiology. Vol. 2. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Farke, Andrew A., Ewan DS Wolff, and Darren H. Tanke. "Evidence of combat in Triceratops." PLoS One 4.1 (2009): e4252.

Farke, Andrew A. "Evaluating combat in ornithischian dinosaurs." Journal of Zoology 292.4 (2014): 242-249.

Hone, David WE, Darren H. Tanke, and Caleb M. Brown. "Bite marks on the frill of a juvenile Centrosaurus from the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation, Alberta, Canada." PeerJ 6 (2018): e5748.

Horner, John R., and Mark B. Goodwin. "Major cranial changes during Triceratops ontogeny." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273.1602 (2006): 2757-2761.

MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.
MASSIVE, Gem-Quality, Agatized Triceratops Horn Fragment - 21" Circumference, 28.4 lbs.