STL Science Center

STL Science Center

02 September 2016

Classical Art

As one of the more well known ceratopsians, in recent years at least, Pachyrhinosaurus has influenced a lot of modern dinosaur art. Possibly one of the most dynamic of these images is this illustration of P. perotorum recovered from Alaska. The immense size of the animals is conveyed not only in the way they and their massively ornate frills fill the frame, but also in the two small shorebirds almost entirely hiding in the plain sight of the foreground. These birds are labeled Gruipeda vegrandiunis, representing a taxon represented by ichnofossils, in this case footprints.Regardless of the size of the birds, the dinosaurs are appreciably immense. Their heads are large bulky ends to a 26 foot (8 meter) long body that, with the power and muscle that was most likely behind it, would have been capable of delivering powerful and devastating attacks. We can assume, however, that attacking another animal with their head was probably, as it is even in goats and other animals we see with dedicated striking apparatuses for heads, a last resort during confrontation. Displays, territorial, and mating disputes may have been another question all together (see goats at play; I do not have to link anything specific, people love goat videos).
©James Havens, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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