Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: TRICERATOPS


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TRICERATOPS (try-SAYR-ah-tops) "Three-horned Face" (Greek tri = three + keratops = horned face, because it had three HORNS)

The largest and heaviest of the CERATOPSIANS. It was 25 feet (7.5 m) long and 9.5 feet (2.9 m) tall. It weighed 5 tons (4.5 metric tons). It had a smooth, solid FRILL; a short, thick nose horn; and two enormous 40-inch (102-cm), forward-curved brow horns. This four-legged plant eater lived in western North America during Late Cretaceous times.

Triceratops was one of the last of the dinosaurs to become extinct. (See EXTINCTION.) It had no real enemies. It was an aggressive animal and was well protected by its horns, frill, and tough, leathery SKIN.

Triceratops had a turtle like beak and scisor-like TEETH. Large numbers of Triceratops must have roamed western North America, because several whole skeletons have been found in Montana, Wyoming, and Alberta, Canada.

Triceratops ate like any comon horse of today but one difference. It is suggested that to get to some of the foliage or ripe fruit on the low branches of a tree the triceratops reared up on its hind legs and used its tail as a stabelizer "Tripod formation" to get to the food.

Classification: Ceratopsidae, Ceratopsia, Ornithischia