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A glorious sight; Triceratops. When the fossils were found, they named these dinosaurs Triceratops horridus, which means "Horrid Three-Horned Face." Makes you wonder how could they, though, doesn't it. They are just gorgeous...and big too.
— Allen, about Triceratops
Triceratops (name meaning "Three-Horned Face") is a genus of well-armored herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. Measuring around 9 meters long and weighing over 8 tons, Triceratops is the largest member of the Ceratopsian family. It was one of the last dinosaurs to have ever existed before the great extinction event at the end of the period.

Due to its impressive set of three horns and large frill, Triceratops has become one of the most famous and most recognized dinosaurs. It was also one of the last known to have evolved, and represents, along with the other freshly evolved species, a new faunal phase of the Dinosauria, that was killed in its tracks prematurely.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Triceratops lived in western North America during the Late Cretaceous period around 73 million years ago and it died out with all the other dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, as it was one of the last dinosaurs to go extinct around 65 million years ago. Although Triceratops has been described as the apex vegetarian of its time, they were still prey animals for T. rex, being one of T. rex's favorite food.

When the fossils of Triceratops were first discovered in Colorado, USA in 1889, John Bell Hatcher and Othneila Charles Marsh named the dinosaur "Triceratops horridus", which, as it turns out, means "Horrid Three-Horned Face."

Physical AttributesEdit

Triceratops infobox

Triceratops were large, heavyset quadruped dinosaurs, with a fully grown adult Triceratops measuring around 30 feet (9 m) long, standing 9.5 feet (2.9 m) tall, weighing as much as 8 tons (16,000 lbs.), and had a skull up to 911 (2.83.5 m) in length, making it the largest member of the ceratopsian family of dinosaurs.

If a human was ever unfortunate enough to stand in the way of a charging Triceratops, it would be comparable to being hit by a train moving 1015 mph (16–24 km/h). Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on its large four-legged body (two long, sharp horns above its eyes and a smaller horn on its nose), and conjuring similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best known ceratopsid. It shared the landscape with and was preyed upon by the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex.

Unlike most of its relatives, Triceratops lacked the two holes that are covered with skin on its bony frill, allowing it to use it as a shield to its neck as well as using it for display. Much like their smaller Asian cousins Protoceratops, the front end of its jaws ended in a sort of a beak that enabled the dinosaur to snap branches as thick as a mans arm as well as browse the fronds and twigs of the woody plants that were contemporary to the end of the Cretaceous. Its limbs were thick and the hind legs were somewhat longer than the fore, which had a digitigrade posture, i.e. the weight was distributed to its toes, rather than the whole foot.

Capabilities and Weaponry Edit

  • Head: Even without the use of its horns and frill, Triceratops was able to use its large head to fight against opposing dinosaurs. Additionally, it also had defensive head gear that it could use against both attackers and even its own kind.
    • Frill: Triceratops possessed a large bony frill to protect its neck and shoulders.
    • Horns: Like most ceratopsian dinosaurs, Triceratops possessed two long horns that it could use against attackers, piercing the flesh of predators.
  • Strength: Due to its massive size, Triceratops was a very strong dinosaur, enough so to push a tractor over on its side.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

IMG 0542

Triceratops herd

Like many herbivores and other members of the ceratopsian family, Triceratops lived and traveled in large herds of hundreds or even thousands of individuals filling up the plains in North America like modern day bison used to do. Seeing a herd of them would have been a glorious site.

A fully grown Triceratops was far from defenseless, as their frill was made of solid bone. But younger Triceratops knew better than to stand their ground. For youngsters to grow to 8 tons, they spent most of their lives feeding. Whenever Triceratops fed, these weren't grazing animals like cows. Instead, they were browsers like black rhinos. As such, Triceratops feed on low trees and shrubs.

Another part of their lives was jousting with one another, which is what Triceratops did in the wild. Like most, if not, all other members of the ceratopsian family, Triceratops had jousting tournaments in nature during times like mating season (when males fought over females or leadership) or when juveniles jousted for fun, injuring their frill and neck. But regardless of how they lived, fought, and protected themselves, Triceratops was a magnificent dinosaur.

Despite their fearsome appearance, Triceratops were in fact gentle and inoffensive giant vegetarians that would only attack if felt threatened or challenged. It also instinctively disliked the color red, and was easily aggravated by the sight of it into charging.

Journal EntryEdit

Triceratops is the most magnificent horned and frilled dinosaurs that ever lived, weighing 7200 kilograms and measuring roughly 30 feet long. These majestic creatures lived in large herds. With their frills made of solid bone and horns large enough to injure even a Tyrannosaurus, these dinosaurs were far from defenseless. When the fossils were discovered in 1889, the paleontologists named them 'Triceratops Horridus', which means "Horrid Three-Horned-Face". But as is turns out, they are not only magnificent, but glorious.

The horns of their 10 foot heads were perfect weapons against any predator, even ones as mighty as they terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex. Additionally, they used them in jousting tournaments with each other during mating season. However, whether against dominate bulls or large predators, younger Triceratops knew better than to stand their ground. If you are ever unfortunate enough to stand in the way of a charging, 8-ton Triceratops, it will be the last thing you ever do.

— Allen, in his Journal, about Triceratops

GalleryEdit

Trivia Edit

  • Triceratops was the last and largest ceratopsian dinosaur to be brought to the park.
  • The sound effects of Triceratops are that of elephant, bull, camel, cow, horse, and other dinosaur sounds.