The genus Dracorex includes a number of pachycephalosaurid specimens of doubtful acceptance due to the fact that it may have been a juvenile state.
The name of the species, Dracorex hogwarstia, is related to the dragons due to its aspect and also with the work of J.K.Rowling of “Harry Potter” known worldwide, so that it has taken fame as much at scientific level as at artistic level.
Main characteristics of the Dracorex
The Dracorex is a genus of dinosaurs that has only one species within it, as is the case with many others, called the Dracorex hogwartsia. It lived during the Cretaceous period, approximately 60-80 years ago, in the area currently occupied by North America.
This genus is part of the order of the ornithischians, within the family of the pachycephalosaurids, and despite its aggressive appearance reminiscent of a dragon was a herbivorous dinosaur. This is an important fact since when it has been reflected in movies and series it has always been depicted as an aggressive and carnivorous looking dinosaur.
It was about 3 meters long and its height reached almost 2 meters, although the most remarkable thing about its morphology was undoubtedly its skull, which we will talk about in more detail.
Skull of the Dracorex hogwartsia
The skull had a similar shape to the representations of the dragons in the stories and is one of the most unusual among the dinosaurs, since it was full of horns and protuberances whose usefulness is unknown, although it is assumed that they functioned as a defensive element.
Besides, there is a peculiarity in its teeth that could disprove the fact that it is said to be an herbivorous dinosaur, since one of the teeth found was serrated, which is usually related to omnivorous animals.
Finally, the resemblance of this skull with that of the Pachycephalosaurus has generated numerous discussions among the Dracorex whether it is a different genus or just a young specimen of the former. Even so, this theory has not been proven and we will have to keep waiting to see if further studies are able to prove it, although it is currently very well accepted by the fossil evidence.
History of the Dracorex
This Dracorex was discovered by three amateur paleontologists in the Hell Creek mountain area of South Dakota, Iowa, and was donated to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in 2004 for study. Later, Robert Sullivan and Robert Bakker examined the skull in 2006 to obtain a faithful recreation of this dinosaur.
The name of the only specimen found, the Dracorex hogwartsia, means “Dragon King” (Dracorex) and hogwartsia refers to the famous Harry Potter Magic School, Hogwarts. Therefore, one could say that the name means “the Dragon King of Hogwarts”.
That it has this name is very related to the fact that this skull was donated to that Children’s Museum, since it was they who suggested that name in 2004 because it reminded them so much of the very dragons that appear in those books.
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