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Re: Horn of plenty

Ah! but no Triceratops bonebeds are known (just unsubstaniated rumors). They 
occur as solitary skeletons (hence individuals). Other ceratopsians (e.g., 
Monoclonius) do occur in bonebeds. No sweeping generalities about herding can 
be made.

Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology &
Chief Preparator
Dept. of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Natural History 
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205

Phone: (303)370-6392
Fax: (303)331-6492
email: KCarpenter@DMNS.org

>>> <zone65@bigpond.com> 22/Sep/03 >>>
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 

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 

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