26 August 2011
Whenever I think of Albertosaurus I think of the fight of predator and prey. Whenever I think of that prey I think of Styracosaurus. Unfortunately, that timeline may be just a hair off, but I'm using my imagination to begin with, so I don't see any harm in that at all. Besides, what's five or six million years between friends? Styracosaurus, anyhow, loves being a top actor in the plays in my mind, but we'll see more of the accolades of Styracosaurus as the week goes on.
Styracosaurus, as an animal, is one of the most distinct of the Centrosaurines and of all Ceratopsians as well. According to convention and tradition only one species exists, Styracosaurus albertensis. However, some published books place Styracosaurus in different company and make it one of the Centrosaurs, more about that later as well. The thing that most distinguishes Styracosaurus from other Centrosaurine and Ceratopsian dinosaurs is the nature of its frill which is in possession of juts of horn, interesting shapes of the extreme frill and just generally a provocative display of grotesqueness; it's an awe inspiring animal and strangely beautiful. The enormous horn on the nose is one source of the debate to include it in the Centrosaur genus and our study this week will take that into account and explain why. Happy Trails for today though!