This dinosaur inhabited our world more than 75 million years ago, which means that it lived during the Cretaceous period. Its official name means “reptile with spikes”, and it belongs to the specimens that are known in the world of science as the famous ceratopsidous ornitisks.
The Styracosaurus inhabited North America. As general data we can indicate that it presented a total of six horns that were located in the tail of the skull, in addition we could also find a horn in the area of the nasal structure, which could get to measure up to more than half a meter of length and 15 centimeters of thickness.
Taxonomy of Styracosaurus
- The kingdom of this animal is Animalia
- Phylum or division: Chordata
- Within the Archosauria Class
- Belongs to the Superorder Dinosauria
- Within the Ornithischia Order
- Belongs to the suborder Neornithischia
- Within the Ceratopsia Infraorder
- Belongs to the Family Ceratopsidae
- The genus of this animal is Styracosaurus
Characteristics of Styracosaurus
This specimen had a great dimension, in fact its length was more than 6 meters and its weight could even exceed 3 tons, besides it had the capacity to reach 2 meters high.
On the other hand, if we observe in a detailed way the structure of this specimen, we are going to notice the presence of four quite resistant and very powerful extremities, besides a tail that in fact was not as long as its body was.
As for the structure of its skull, we can observe the presence of a strange beak that was probably used to pull out the vegetables, as well as a dental structure composed of molars that served to make several cuts.
This detail tells us that this dinosaur probably used these teeth to make cuts to the vegetables that were going to digest, and very possibly these vegetables ended up in the form of rods just before the digestion process.
The behavior of this specimen was probably quite similar to the behavior of other dinosaurs placed inside the ceratopsians, so it can be said that it is possible that they lived in groups of numerous individuals, it is even suggested that they traveled through large extensions of land, all of which they did in the company of other animals of the same family.
The above-mentioned detail is known because the vestiges found were studied in a conscientious way and conclusions were drawn after such studies.
History of the Styracosaurus
The person in charge of providing the name was Lawrence Lambe, who in 1913 named this specimen under the official name of Styracosaurus, and also took the license to place it within the famous Centrosaurinae.
In addition, two new species have been added to the same genus, among which we can mention the official names of Styracosaurus albertensis, and the other species called Styracosaurus ovatus, however, it should be noted that there are also other varied species that have been added to the same genus.
A series of vestiges belonging to specimens that had already reached full maturity were studied. Therefore, it is estimated that this dinosaur may have reached a length of about 6 meters, whereas its total volume did not exceed 2,700 kilograms.
As for its skull we can clearly see that it was an element of considerable dimension, which also had a horn, which was located at the end of the snout.
The area of the animal’s muzzle was also an important area of the individual, due to its large size. In the area of the gola there were elongated spines, which are located in what is technically called a parieto-skeletal excrescence, that is, the gola was an extension of the parietal and squamous cranial bones.
These spines were about half a meter long, while the horn located in the nose was about 60 centimeters.
The difference in the shape and style of these spines and the horn located in the nose was quite pronounced if we compare it with other specimens placed inside the Centrosaurus. The Styracosaurus specimens presented some protuberances that had the shape of a hook, and even some scientists called these protuberances as “nodules”.
Already paying a little more attention to the body than to the head of the animal, we can see that it was quite similar to the body of rhinoceroses, with shoulders strong enough to be able to fight a bloody battle hand-to-hand, even a battle between animals of the same genus.
The fingers located at the end of each hind limb enjoyed a structure that is quite similar to the hooves of ungulates (the hooves of horses), these hooves were also composed of a material known as keratin, but unlike horses Ceratopsians still had the fingers, so the way of walking would be more like Hipparion.
About the position in which this singular specimen was standing and moving, there are many studies and arguments that have not been able to be completely verified, so while some scientists claim that the dinosaur was mainly held by the extremities located in the front zone of the animal, other researchers try to disprove such assertions offering a series of arguments as valid as the previous ones.
It has not yet been possible to determine whether these animals were faster or slower than elephants, because it is not known whether the latter were capable of extending their limbs in order to achieve greater lightness and speed, a challenge that involves much effort for paleontologists today, although there is also hope that more remains can be found in order to carry out a much more exhaustive study of the specimen.