Pachycephalosaurus Facts

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Pachycephalosaurus Facts

Pachycephalosaurus skull:
Pachycephalosaurus Skull
Here are some facts about Pachycephalosaurus:
  1. Pachycephalosaurus was a genus of dinosaur (for more information see Pachycephalosaurus Classification).

  2. Currently only one species of Pachycephalosaurus is known: Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis (for more information see Pachycephalosaurus Classification).

  3. Pachycephalosaurus was a herbivore (ate plants).

  4. Pachycephalosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period, between approximately 76 million and 65 million years ago.

  5. Pachycephalosaurus lived in what is today North America.

  6. Pachycephalosaurus was probably about 15 feet (4.6 meters) long, and probably weighted around 950 pounds (430 kilograms).

  7. The most noteable feature of Pachycephalosaurus is the thick bony dome on its skull. This was 10 inches (25 centimeters) thick. At the back of the dome were several short bony spikes. Scientists once believed that this dome could have been used in butting competitions for mates (modern big-horned sheep engage in similar behavior), or perhaps to defend against predators. However, some doubt has been cast on these theories by the fact that Pachycephalosaurus skulls lack shocking absorbing features, do not appear to be strong enough for such activities, and do not appear to have been damaged either.

  8. Pachycephalosaurus also had bony spikes around its snout. Because of this feature, many scientists believe that Pachycephalosaurus could have been related to ceratopsians such as which include Protoceratops, Psittacosaurus, Styracosaurus, and Triceratops. However unlike most of its ceratopsian relatives, Pachycephalosaurus appears to have walked on two legs rather than four.

  9. Pachycephalosaurus also had unusual teeth. The teeth were very small and ridged, and not particularly well suited to chewing fibrous plant material. It is therefore thought that Pachycephalosaurus ate leaves, fruit, seeds, and perhaps insects.

  10. The first fossils of Pachycephalosaurus were discovered in the 1850s. However it was not until more specimens were found that the animal was named.

    • In 1931, the creature was thought to be a species of Troodon, and was therefore named Troodon wyomingensis.

    • In 1943, the genus of Pachycephalosaurus was recognized as separate, and Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis was the name of the first species in this genus.

    • In the 1940s, two other species were also named Pachycephalosaurus grangeri and Pachycephalosaurus reinheimeri. However since 1983, these species have no longer been considered distinct from Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.

  11. The name "Pachycephalosaurus" means "thick-headed lizard".

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