Dinosaurs unbound

Pronounced try-SER-a-tops
Named By - Othniel Marsh
When Named - 1889
DIET: Herbivore (plant-eater)
SIZE: Length - 30 feet (9 m) long
Height - 7 ft (2 m) tall at the hips
Weight - up to 6-12 tons
WHEN IT LIVED: Late Cretaceous period, about 72-65 million years ago
WHERE IT LIVED: Fossils have been found in western Canada and the western United States, North America.
FOSSILS: What has been Found - About 50 Triceratops skulls and some partial skeletons have been found.
Who Found the First Fossil and When - The first Triceratops skull was found in 1888 by John Bell Hatcher.
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
  • Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
  • Order Ornithischia - bird-hipped dinosaurs (plant-eaters)
  • Suborder Marginocephalia - (meaning "fringed heads")
  • Infraorder Ceratopsia (also called Ceratopia)
  • Family Ceratopsidae
  • Genus Triceratops
  • Species T. horridus (type species named by Marsh, 1889)
When threatened by predators, Triceratops probably charged into its enemy like the modern-day rhinoceros does. Triceratops was probably a herding animal, like the other ceratopsians. T. rex probably ate dinosaurs like Triceratops.
LINKS: A detailed page on Triceratops.

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

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