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Triceratops: I Know Dino Podcast Episode 30

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Published on Apr 15, 2016

Triceratops: I Know Dino Podcast Episode 30

I Know Dino: The big dinosaur podcast. News, interviews, and discussions about dinosaurs. Are you a dinosaur enthusiast? Learn more at https://www.patreon.com/iknowdino.

You can also visit http://www.IknowDino.com for more information including a link to dinosaur sites near you.

This episode was originally published on June 22, 2015.

Episode 30 is all about Triceratops, a ceratopsian with three horns on its face.

In this episode, we discuss:

The dinosaur of the day: Triceratops, a dinosaur that appeared in Jurassic World, whose name means “Three-Horn Face”
Have mentioned Triceratops before, about Triceratops v Torosaurus (Episode 21, with paleo-artist Josh Cotton)
Two species types: Triceratops horridus and Triceratops prorsus
Charles Marsh named Triceratops in 1889
Quadrupedal (walked on four legs), herbivore, large skull (about a third of the length of its body)
Grouped as a chasmosaurine because of the brow horns (a subfamily of ceratopsid)
Lived in Cretaceous; one of the last dinosaurs to go extinct
Found in USA, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming. Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan
About 30 feet (9 m) and weighed over 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg), though some weighed 15,750 pounds
Skull had a short neck frill, and three horns
Two biggest horns above the eyes, up to 1 m long, and a smaller nose horn on the snout
Dominant herbivore in North America in late Cretaceous (lots of Triceratops remains)
Triceratops is one of the most popular dinosaurs (but lots of misconceptions and controversy)
In the 1900s a lot of Triceratops fossils were found, though the skulls varied a lot. As a result, a lot of Triceratops species were named.
Catherine Forster wrote in a later study about a difference between Triceratops horridus, Triceratops prorsus, and Triceratops hatcheri (named as a new genus, Nedoceratops hatcheri); they were found in different levels of strata, which means they were active at different times
Dubious species: T. albertensis, T. alticornis, T. eurycephalus, T. galeus, T. hatcheri, T. ingens, T. maximus, T. sulcatus.
Debate over Triceratops v. Torosaurus
John Scanella theorized in 2009 that Triceratops was the same as Torosaurus (co-authored by Jack Horner). They said they lived at the same time, and fossils were found in the same places, and that Triceratops was a juvenile version of Torosaurus. They said that Triceratops had a short frill, and Torosaurus had a longer frill with holes to reduce the weight. Also said that Nedoceratops was a growth stage in between Triceratops and Torosaurus. Evidence to support the theory is that some ceratopsians juvenile and adult specimens have juveniles with short frills and adults with longer frills.
Theory was very controversial
In 2011 Andrew Farke said Nedoceratops was in its own genus, and there was too much change required for a Triceratops skull to change to a Torosaurus skull
In 2012 Daniel Field and Nicholas Longrich, from Yale University studied 35 specimens and said there were skulls of juvenile Torosaurus and adult Triceratops. Also in some locations only Triceratops or only Torosaurus was found.
Scanella responded that some of the fossils Field and Longrich studied could be transitional
Either way, Torosaurus was named in 1891, and Triceratops in 1889, which means Triceratops will keep its name, no matter what

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