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Horn of plenty



Not only that, but ceratopsians are known to have congregated in herds. In roughly analogous mammals (elephants, rhinos) this is, at least in part, a means of protecting their young from predation.

So Triceratops, for example, was a well-armed and defended beast that travelled in large numbers. These factors imply they had *something* to fear, likely not just their fellows.

Additionally, Styracosaurus sported horns around its frill... this doesn't seem like an arrangement that would have aided intraspecific combat, rather one that acted as a defence for the top of the neck - from attack from above. Ditto the elongated frills of Torosaurus and Chasmosaurus.

If a T. rex was heading your way you'd probably see, hear &/or smell it - and from miles away, if you were on a plain. And if it couldn't run (as we're hearing), it would be easy for you to evade it (assuming "you" could run...). Or you could gang up with your horny mates and charge it.

This doesn't mean T. rex had to resort to dining on non-combative, motionless carrion. More likely it hid downwind camouflaged among boulders or dense foliage, lunging out when an unlucky 'tops got close enough.

Peter Markmann



Begin forwarded message:

Now, not only are ceratopsians and chameleons totally unrelated and the structures analogous, but they are vastly different in size and (probably) behavior. It is interesting to see how animals with the identical weaponry put them to use. The chameleons without horns are usually the ones to fight to the death, as their jaws are far more lethal than ther horns. As a matter of fact, the horns can be thought of as a means to keep the mouth of the enemy away from them. Ceratopsians had some nasty jaws as well. Despite the deadliness of their horns, I believe ceratopsians used them for fighting, althought I do not beleive that ceratopsians would have fought as often as modern mammals do. With their weaponry, they'd have caused too much damage.

Eric A