We have a range of roaring friends here at DE including our resident TRex, Ankylosauraus, Triceratops, iguanadon and an Apatoauraus also known as a Brontosauraus. As you may have noticed in our previous posts we talked a little about our TRex. But who are our other dino friends?
Triceratops is pronounced ‘Tri-sera-tops’ and means three horned face which describes the three horns located at the top of a triceratops head. One was located on the snout, while the other 2 were located above the eyes. It is thought that these horns were for defensive mechanisms to protect the dinosaur. This would have been especially important considering Triceratops were alive at the same time as the mighty T Rex as well as the Ankylosaurus. Interestingly, they are also thought to have been used to court other dinosaurs and for displays of dominance; behaviour similar to that seen in deer.
Triceratops also have a characteristic frill at the base of their skull. While palaeontologists are not sure about the function of it. It is thought that it may have protected their necks, been used to attract mates, recognise members of the same species or even to regulate their body temperature.
Alive around 67-65 million years ago, the triceratops was a herbivore feeding on plants rather than their fellow dinos or other animals who roamed the earth millions of years ago. It is believed that they lived in what is now North America. At an estimated 9 metres long, 3 metres tall and weighing in at approximately of 5500kg the Triceratops was a force to be reckoned with.
The Ankylosaurus can be seen as you enter our car park on your right. Pronounced An-key-low-sore-us its name means ‘stiff lizard’. Known as the armoured dinosaur, the Ankylosauraus can be recognised by its heavily armoured and wide scull as well as by a large club like structure at the end of it’s tail. The armour was made from plates of bone of different sizes that come out from the dinosaurs’ skin. They also had an armoured ring around their neck to protect it. It is thought the Ankylosauraus would swing their tail to defend themselves against other dinosaurs. Although, it is believed that the first a
Ankylosauras dinosaurs to exist did not have a tail club and it was something only the later dinos had.
The Ankylosauraus it seems was closely related to the Stegosauraus and lived 74-67 million years ago in the late cretaceous period which was also the time of the trex and triceratops. It is thought that they lived in both North America and also Eastern Asia. As one of the largest armoured dinosaurs, they move on 4 legs with an approximate length of 7-10 metres long and weigh in at a hefty 4 tons (equivalent to 4000 kg). Due to their large weight the Ankylosauraus had large yet relatively short legs to support its weight. They were also thought to be quite slow-moving animals who only moved quickly when they absolutely needed to for example to protect themselves from predators. As herbivores they only ate plants and so had large grinding teeth and a horny beak at the front to help break off plants and chew them. Palaeontologists believe that they ate very similar amounts to large elephants that you see today.
Check out our next post for more information on the Apatosauraus and Iguanadon and how they lived.