The Pentaceratops was one of the most robust dinosaur genera to have inhabited the Earth during the upper Cretaceous (about 75 million years ago). This genus is classified within the group of ceratopsial dinosaurs.

This genus would have had a robust and ferocious appearance due to the horns and the wheel it possessed. It had two horns that were placed over its eyes, a large horn over its nose and a large frill around its head.

This specimen would have been approximately 8 meters long, 4 meters high and over 5 tons in weight. All this gave it a big and robust look and it really was too.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Pentaceratops… Stay with us because we have a lot to talk about this herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous!

Pentaceratops Taxonomy

  • The Pentaceratops belongs to the Animalia kingdom.
  • Corresponding to the phylum Chordata.
  • Of the Sauropsida class.
  • Belongs to the superorder Dinosauria.
  • The Pentaceratops corresponds to the order Ornithischia.
  • It belongs to the suborder Neornithischia.
  • Being part of the suborder Ceratopsia.
  • Within the family Ceratopsidae.
  • It is considered to correspond to the subfamily Ceratopsinae.
  • From the genus Pentaceratops.

Characteristics of the Pentaceratops

The size of the animal was no more than 8 meters long, while the height of this strange creature was a maximum of 400 centimeters, whose weight is estimated to have been more than 5 tons.

As we have already mentioned, this animal possessed three rare protuberances that would actually come to be horns, which were located in the area of the head, in addition to this we can detect that it also had a strong beak-shaped structure, a beak that in addition to being quite solid was also quite robust, so it can be assumed that it was capable of exerting a strong pressure.

The bone structure that belongs to the wheel can be clearly seen covered with thorny elements, meanwhile, the extremities of the animal had to be strong enough to support the great weight that the whole body of the animal possessed, and in fact, that is how those extremities were.

The detail or quality in common or similar that this strange specimen has with other dinosaurs called or identified as ceratopsians, was the behavior of gregarious style that it possessed, something common in that family of specimens.
It is also known that this animal based its diet on the consumption of various vegetables, therefore it did not consume meat of any kind, among its favorite vegetables we can find ferns and some conifers that surely were abundant at that time in which this specimen was developed, because the famous vegetables that had flowers in their structure had not yet developed as successfully as they were going to after a few million years.

The beak of the animal was an indispensable element in the feeding process, both for pulling up certain difficult vegetables and for facilitating the chewing of such food, otherwise things would have been much more complicated than they really were at that time in prehistory.

History of the Pentaceratops

About the first vestiges that were found, of this enormous specimen, we can affirm that they were located in New Mexico, this finding was made under the command of Sternberg, when talking about this territory obviously we are referring to the famous Kirtland formation, which has given the world of science a series of treasures like this last one that we have just mentioned.

Among the specimens that were also found in this formation we can mention one that was officially named Prenocephale, without forgetting of course the Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus.
However, it was another paleontologist who was in charge of the review of this rare specimen, a researcher Henry Osborn, who in 1923, did the great work of detailing all kinds of data about this animal called Pentaceratops.

It was this same guy who was in charge of creating the official name of the animal, reminding and reminding everyone that the true discoverer of the remains of the being would have been in fact the scientist we mentioned first in previous paragraphs.

A detail of this animal that is usually compared with other specimens, is the famous “gola”, since it is known that this structure in the Pentaceratops is of a much longer size, while in the Triceratops this area turns out to be a little shorter, besides this the dinosaur protagonist of this article has two openings of considerable size in this structure, a quality that the Triceratops does not have.

Already in the 1930s, Carl Wiman appeared, who was responsible for reviewing a new species of dinosaur that belonged to the specimen that we detail today, this new specimen was officially named Pentaceratops fenestratus.

However, after realizing a series of omissions and mistakes made by the scientist, this specimen was considered of the same class we mentioned in previous paragraphs, so the official name we mentioned was totally invalidated.

Almost 10 skulls have been found, which belong to this specimen. Besides, it was also possible to locate traces of incomplete bone structures that, in the end, were very useful to continue studying and learning more details about this extinct specimen.
Already in recent years, in 2006, in the famous state of Colorado, located in the United States of America, a group of scientists carried out the work of locating a new set of remains that would probably belong to this unique animal.

If we wish to see the remains of the specimen personally, we would probably have to make a trip to the State of Oklahoma, located in the United States, within the facilities of a very prestigious museum, where the remains of this specimen are on display.

It is also stated that among all the vertebrates that walked on land, this specimen presented one of the largest skulls if we compare it with other specimens, which is why this detail is truly fascinating.

One of its closest relatives is the famous specimen identified as Anchiceratops, although it is also presumed that it is the Torosaurus. However, this is something that is far from being scientifically proven, since studies on this animal are still in progress.