Ceratopsians crests

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On my travels at least (which have yet to ever really include Canada and the U.S.) ceratopsians in museums tend to consist entirely of Triceratops with perhaps the odd Protoceratops or Psittacosaurus thrown in. While others are other there (and I’ve run into a few on occasion) I’ve never really got to see any great number of taxa, and certainly not to compare with each other. Given the critical importance the frills and horns play in their taxonomy this is a little frustrating and annoying.

Here however we have (from left to right) Styracosaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Anchiceratops, and finally Chasmosaurus. These are mounted as a series on the wall in the Tokyo museum and compliment a mounted Triceratops and lower down a Protoceratops skull. If I have a complaint here it’s that the damned things are 4 m above the ground and hardly in the most convenient spot, but at the same time it’s great to see them. This really shows off some of the variation going on in the number, shape and size of all the various ornamental accoutrements that make up the ceratopsian cranium. It’s a pretty dramatic illustration and one that works well even with just the skulls since they hold so much of the information. I’d love to see a giant version of this done with 20 different heads all lined up and available for people to ogle, I’m sure it would be popular, but you’d need a lot of wall.

For more information related to
href="http://dinosaurs-video.blogspot.com/" title="dinosaurs">dinosaurs
, visit


Post a Comment