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RE: Triceratops forelimb

D B:

Current majority view is that the semi-erect (or semi-sprawling) posture
for the forelimbs of _Triceratops_ is correct.  The recent (last year)
remounting of the Smithsonian's _Triceratops_ (i.e. "Hatcher") shows
that posture.  And they created a 3-D animation of it walking.  A lot of
research into how the animal moves was performed in order to create the
new mount, and the animation (along with a complete 3-D model of all of
the bones).  Ralph Chapman was one of the lead people on the project.

One of the reasons for preferring the semi-sprawling posture is that
with the fully erect posture, it seems that the animal would be bruising
its ribs constantly (its forelimbs 'elbows' would bang into its ribs).

There are some people who believe that fully erect posture is correct
and that the other people are putting the shoulder blades (scapula) in
the wrong place.

Personally, I go with the semi-sprawled forelimbs for most of the

Some advocate that the ceratopsians could slowly gallop - like a
rhinoceros (slow as compared to a horse - rhinos can move fairly
quickly.  You wouldn't want to try to outrun one if you were close to

Most presentations of the ceratopsian tail show it extended slightly
downward, slightly stiffened. The back does not seem to be especially

Allan Edels 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of Dino Beast
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 6:34 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Triceratops forelimb

I have seen some pictures (and some skeletons models) with triceratops 
forelimb being semi-erected (some pics are erected).  What is the
view on that ??

Is there any research on how ceratopsian run ?? (fast walk or mammal
run)  Is the back and the tail stiffen ??

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