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Re: Sneak Peak at Yale Torosaurus Sculpture

You want cheeks? Check out the cheeky hornbill hatchlings at http://avesinternational.com/softbillnurs.html .
Lots more cheeky than Parsons' _Leptoceratops_ illustration at http://www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/LEPTOCERATOPS_2.JPG .

Furthermore, ceratopsians had immense, powerful jaw muscles and teeth adapted for chopping up tough plant material in the manner of oversize shears. I would think that these shearing tooth batteries (even more than grinding tooth batteries) would require accessory cheeks, as otherwise much of the processed food material would be shorn off by the jaws along the occlusal cutting edges of the teeth, and without retaining cheeks, the cut off material would drop to the ground. Would you use a Vegimatic without a cover? ;^)

Moreover (as Dr. Tom has noted) the teeth are laterally recessed within the skull, as in cheeked herbivorous mammals, and most unlike extant herbivorous reptiles, which aren't adapted for oral processing to the extent we see in ceratopsians.

Cheekless ceratopsians?  I wouldn't be so sure about that.


Ralph W. Miller III
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology