Dimensions 12" x 27"
North America, late Cretaceous Period, ca. 68 to 66 million years ago. Wow! An incredible fossilized brow horn from a triceratops (Triceratops horridus), one of the classic, best-known dinosaurs. First found in 1887 west of Denver, Colorado, USA, in the town of Morrison by the English priest and fossil hunter Arthur Lakes and named by Yale professor Othniel Charles Marsh, these large horned animals were initially mistaken for a form of bison before they realized they were a type of dinosaur known as a ceratopsian. The triceratops skull was heavy and distinctive: with three horns, a parrot-like beak, and a frill that could reach three feet wide, it was one of the largest skulls known from any land animal. Size: 12" W x 27" L (30.5 cm x 68.6 cm) Size: 12" W x 27" L (30.5 cm x 68.6 cm); 20" H (50.8 cm) on included custom stand.
Interestingly, most horned animals travel in herds, but triceratops has been found more frequently in individual contexts. Puncture marks on the fossil frills of males of the species shown that they used their horns to fight each other, with some paleontologists believing that this was done to impress females. Finds of blood vessels throughout the horns and frills of these animals suggest that they were not just weapons, but were also used for identification of individuals, much like the antlers and horns of modern species like reindeer and mountain goats. These horns grew throughout the life of the animal, especially in childhood and adolescence, along with the skull, which went from one foot long in babies to six feet long in adults. The horns on the babies were only about an inch long before growing to be as impressive as this example!
Provenance: private United States collection, acquired in Montana, USA on private property
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