Triceratops: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the triceratops.

  • The triceratops lived between 68 and 65 million years ago in what is now North America.
  • The largest triceratops was almost 30 feet long and almost 10 feet in height. They could weigh up to 5 tons, about the same weight as a truck.
  • Its name translates as ‘three horned face’ although it really only had two large horns. When the species was first discovered, the creature was thought to be a large bison.
  • A triceratops had between 400 and 800 teeth, although it only used some of them at one time.
  • They were able to knock down taller plants with their horns.

Triceratops

  • The triceratops probably also used its horns to defend itself against larger dinosaurs, and the male triceratops may have used the large horns as part of a mating ritual to attract females.
  • Because so many bones have been found together, scientists believe the triceratops lived in herds.
  • It is thought that, when threatened, triceratops charged at its enemy, like today’s rhinoceros.
  • Museums and collectors are willing to pay a lot for the bones or skull of the dinosaur because they are so distinctive. In 2008, a wealthy collector paid $1 million for a triceratops fossil.
  • The triceratops is well known for the large size of its skull. It could reach a length of 7 feet (including the frill that pointed backwards).
  • Many triceratops bones have been found in Hell Creek, Montana. Deposits in the area suggest a meteor may have hit about 65 million years ago, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Triceratops is probably the most popular movie dinosaur after tyrannosaurus rex. It is also the official state dinosaur of Wyoming.

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