This week’s (very belated) epic creature goes out to a little buddy of mine. This is one of the most well known dinosaurs; if it were not for the title I would like to think that you made a few guesses. I am sure two other dinosaurs you thought of were Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Brontosaurus. There are two reasons this dinosaur is so epic (in my opinion) and those are its three horns and its head plate. The name triceratops actually means three horned face, a pretty accurate description if you ask me.
Triceratops’ were estimated to be about 7.9 to 9.0m (26 to 29.5ft) in length, 2.9 to 3m (9.5 to 9.8ft) in height and weighing around 6.1 to 12 tonnes (13,000 to 26,000lb). What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about triceratops? Most likely you think of the crest and 3 horns they have on the top of their skulls, which are among the largest of all animals. The triceratops had a large crest on the top of skull which could be almost a third the length of its body, the longest known is 2.5m (8.2ft). The triceratops had one horn above the nostril and two horns above each eye approximately 1m (3ft) in length. The crest was very solid with bone spikes along the end of it. Most recent theories suggest that since there are blood vessels present and as they got older holes developed in the crest that it is used for identification and courtship, much like antlers and horns of modern deer, mountain goats or rhinoceros beetles.
Though there is a lot of debate on the body structure of the triceratops, one thing scientists agree on is that it was a quadruped (meaning it walked on four legs), had hooves and a thick build. The triceratops also had a beak and rows of shearing teeth. What everyone debates is how the triceratops walked, some believe it was like the modern rhinoceros and others believe the front legs stood out at angles from the body in a sprawling stance to better support the massive head. I can go on more about the different arguments about body types but one thing we all know is that this is one epic creature.
It is believed that the triceratops was not a shy creature but it did not go out looking for fights. They were herbivores and preferred to be left alone so they could eat plants. When provoked it would defend itself - most likely it would face the threat and charge to scare off or injure the attacker. They may even have stampeded like the modern day wildebeest. Since there are no records available it is hard to know for sure just how they lived.
I would bet money that the triceratops has made an appearance in every dinosaur movie or game. Triceratops’ are one of the most commonly known dinosaurs and a fan favourite. Triceratops lived along side of the T-Rex so I am sure they had some epic battles!
With one of the largest skulls of any known animal, those awesome horns and tank like body, this creature is one of the most epic of all dinosaurs!