Thursday, 21 January 2010

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus, was a genus of the herbivorous Ceratopsian dinosaur; from the
Cretaceous Period (Campanian stage); which had lived about 76.5 to 75.0 million years ago.  It had four to six long horns, extending from its neck frill, a smaller horn on each of its cheeks, and a single horn protruding from its nose, which may have reached dimensions, of around 60 centimeters (2 ft) long and 15 centimeters (6 in) wide.  The function or functions of the horns and frills, have been the subject of debate, for many years.  Styracosaurus was a large dinosaur, reaching lengths of 5.5 meters (18 ft), and weighing nearly 3 tons.  It stood about 1.8 meters (6 ft) tall. Styracosaurus possessed four short legs, and a bulky body.  Its tail was rather short.  It also had a beak, and flat cheek teeth; indicating that its diet, was herbivorous.  Like other Ceratopsians, this dinosaur may have been a herd animal, traveling in large groups, as suggested by bonebeds.  Named by Lawrence Lambe in 1913, Styracosaurus is a member of the Centrosaurinae.  Two species, S. albertensis and S. ovatus, are currently assigned to Styracosaurus.  Other species assigned to the genus, have since been re-assigned, elsewhere.

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