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Jurassic Park - TRICERATOPS

TRICERATOPS (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Geography Legends and Legendary People STEM American History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Film

This imagined Triceratops—a late-Cretaceous-age dinosaur whose scientific name, in English, means "three-horned face"—is on display at JuraPark Baltow, in Poland. Alina Zienowicz took the photo. Online via Wikimedia Commons; license: CC BY-SA 3.0

 

The first discovered skull of an American Triceratops (a Late Cretaceous-age dinosaur) was found by John Bell Hatcher in 1888. These plant-eating creatures had enormous horns and weighed around 5 tons.

Between 1889-1892, Hatcher collected more than 40 skulls and partial skeletons. Within a year of the first Triceratops discovery, O.C. Marsh (the first professor of paleontology in the United States) had named the creature.  He call it Triceratops (Latin for "three-horned face") and published a description of it.

At a time when the state of Wyoming had no roads, Hatcher and his team of assistants loaded the huge skeletons into horse-drawn wagons. The nearest railroad station was 40 miles away.

One of Hatcher's fossils contains the surprisingly small brain cavity of a Triceratops. When he studied this specimen, in 1920, Charles W. Gillmore observed:

...although having immense heads the brain is smaller in proportion to it than in any known vertebrate animal, being but little larger than a man’s fist.

Using many of Hatcher’s collected fossils, Gillmore and a colleague prepared the world’s first mounted Triceratops for the Smithsonian Institute. The unfortunate creature - at the time it lived - was the prey of Tyrannosaurus rex.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Apr 17, 2018


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