|“||One of the Tyrannosaurus principal sources of prey are these bulky Torosaurus, the magnificent, majestic bull of the prehistoric period. In the Late Cretaceous, herds of horned herbivores like these were very common...and attracted many predators.||„|
|— Allen, on Torosaurus|
Torosaurus (name meaning "Perforated Lizard") is a genus of bulky herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. Measuring around 8 meters in length, weighing 6.5 tons, and related to, in fact, almost identical to Triceratops, Torosaurus is known for possessing one of the largest skulls of any known terrestrial animal and, for a long time, has been thought to be the exact same dinosaur as Triceratops.
In the Series 2 finale "Fall of a Kingdom Part II: The Return of the King", a small group of three Torosaurus were brought back to the park from prehistoric Montana of 65 million years ago. They reside in the Ceratopsian Grassland enclosure.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Torosaurus lived in western North American during the Late Cretaceous period from 70–65 million years ago. It lived alongside dinosaurs like Edmontosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Late Cretaceous mammals. It was also often hunted by Dromaeosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex as a principal source of food. Therefore, Torosaurus was close to the bottom of the food chain but it fought back, just as Triceratops did. It died out with all other dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous.
Two years after the naming and discovery of Triceratops, Torosaurus was first discovered in 1891 by Othniel Charles Marsh. For many years, Torosaurus was thought to have been the exact same dinosaur as Triceratops. However, further study shows the dinosaurs, despite being in the same family, are two different species of dinosaurs.
Known for being the majestic bulls of the Late Cretaceous period, Torosaurus was the second-largest member of the ceratopsian family, after Triceratops. It measured about 25–27 feet (7.7–8.5 m) in length, stood 7–8 feet (2.2–2.5 m) tall, and weighing an estimated 6–7 tons (12,000–14,000 lbs.)
Torosaurus had a similar stance to that of a rhinoceros. With its formidable horns and powerful, muscular body, Torosaurus was like a dinosaur version of a rhinoceros. It featured a large, enormous bony neck frill with large fenestration, or horns, which were used for display, Torosaurus had the largest skull of any terrestrial animal. The bony frill had large fenestrae, or holes, to reduce weight and may have been brightly colored and used for display. Apart from the large frill, Torosaurus was similar in appearance to its close relative, Triceratops. Torosaurus had two, large and long horns sprouting above the eyes with a smaller horn on the snout. They used their sharp beaks and rows of shearing teeth to munch tough vegetation.
Fossilized footprints identified as ceratopsian track-ways indicate that the forelegs were slightly splayed, with the hind legs straight under the body, similar to a rhinoceros.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Like all herbivores and ceratopsian dinosaurs, Torosaurus lived and traveled in herds and preferred to live in the inland, dry forest instead of coastal swamps. Surprisingly, Torosaurus were relatively sociable dinosaurs – one of the kinds of dinosaurs that liked to live in herds, however, they were sociable up to a point. The dominant males were very territorial, as they could dominate their herds for decades and were masters of their turfs.
During the rutting season, to display, the males flushed blood into their crests, creating vivid patterns, similar to how a Stegosaurus flushed blood into their plates. A Torosaurus's huge crest is their reproductive display. For the males, their horns and crest earn them status.With massive heads and safety in herds, not much on Earth that could threaten Torosaurus, except not just Tyrannosaurus rex, but also another Torosaurus. For Torosaurus, these displays on their frills were designed to avoid physical contact. With horns measuring a meter in length, fighting could easily result in bad injuries. The best and brightest displayed crest was usually all that was needed to settle arguments. Occasionally, showing off was not always enough, and although fighting was usually the last resort for a Torosaurus, the males resorted to brute force. And in the end, it was the male with the biggest head that won.
Often in Torosaurus fights, youth triumphed over experience. When younger male Torosaurus reached a certain age in adulthood, at the very least maturity, they would challenge the older males' authority as the herds' leader. And if younger Torosaurus was victorious against older and more experienced male Torosaurs, the old male would therefore not only have lost but would also surrender to his younger opponent: Little Torosaurus.
- Torosaurus is the second-largest ceratopsian brought to the park.
- The sound effects of Torosaurus are that of a bull, cow, buffalo, and bison.
- In reality, Torosaurus had quills on its tail, unlike the one in the series.