STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 August 2012

Not The Least Famous

Wannanosaurus is far from the least favorite of dinosaurs, but it does suffer from being such a small dinosaur and from having so little known about it. The best bet for a dinosaur with few remains to become popular in the world is to have some radical adaptation or ornamentation or to grow to an enormous size. Being a basal pachycephalosaur, Wannanosaurus does indeed have a rather strange ornamentation evident in the skull, but it is not as high developed as it is in later pachycephalosaurs and so only appears to really be a flattened, strengthened roof of the skull. This is important in understanding how the skulls of pachycephalosaurs evolved over time, but does not make for a hugely impressive dinosaur adaptation or ornamentation. Wannanosaurus probably looked more like a lightly helmeted Hypsilophodon than it did a dome headed pachycephalosaur. That of course does not necessarily mean it would be less famous than its cousins, but it does not help either. Hopefully more skeletons of Wannanosaurus will come to light in the future both to make it a more recognizable dinosaur, and to further the study of pachycephalosaur evolution.

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