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ceratopsians and chameleons



As one of the culprits responsible for the analogy between bovids and
ceratopsians, I have to say that I now think Dodson and I (mainly I)
overdid the comparison in our 1975 paper.  Having said that, however, I
still think that differences in horn and frill morphology across
ceratopsian species were likely associated with display and combat
behavior.  I still suspect that horn wrestling may have been part of
three-horned species did.

A couple years ago I published a children's book (J.O. Farlow, 2001,
_Bringing Dinosaur Bones to Life: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Were
Like?_, Franklin Watts--feel free to buy this), in which I published a
photo of two horn-wrestling chameleons, as well as two _Triceratops_
engaging in the same style of wrestling (pp. 32-33).

Many years ago I had an artist sculpt out two three dimensional models
of a Triceratops skull, based on figures in Hatcher's old monograph.  I
then played around with horn wrestling.  Amusingly, if you interlock the
two long brow horns, with the snouts sort of cheek to cheek, the nasal
horn is directed toward the orbit in a rather Moe Howard-like (and if
you young whippersnappers don't know who he was, your life is that much
the poorer) maneuver.  In at least a few Triceratops skulls I've looked
at, I've had the impression that the anterior rim of the orbit was
rather thickened, making me wonder if this provided some protection from
eye gouging.  But I never followed it up, and could be completely off
base, and so I mention it for whatever it's worth.