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Triceratops may have been headbangers

by Rodney Tanaka

January 28, 2009

Read 1 mins

Elizabeth Rega, PhD, Associate Professor of Anatomy in the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific at WesternU, is quoted in a story in ScienceNews magazine about Triceratops possibly using their brow horns to joust with each other.

Comparing the pattern and prevalence of lesions on the skulls of dinosaurs in the Triceratops genus with those of a short-horned cousin strongly suggests that Triceratops used their horns in head-to-head combat among themselves. Read the full story >>

Dr. Rega is also quoted in a story appearing in Wired on the same topic:

It’s the iconic dinosaur battle, seared into every kid’s imagination from picture books and cartoons: Tyrannosaurus rex lunges, mouth agape, and Triceratops parries with its horns and bony neck frill. This scene probably did unfold in North American forests 65 million years ago, but new research suggests Triceratops also used its headgear in fights against its own species.

Paleontologists have proposed this idea before. It makes sense, given that other animals with horns or antlers, such as deer, use them against their own kind in battles for dominance or mating rights. The new study, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, documented wounds on Triceratops fossils, backing the idea up with hard data for the first time. Read the full story>>


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