What was a nasal boss?
One of the horned dinosaurs, | A Pachyrhinosaurus, has a name that means "thick-nosed lizard." On its nose— where its cousins had a sharp horn— Pachyrhinosaurus had a big bony knob. This was the nasal boss. Rival family members may have scrapped with each other, using their nasal bosses as weapons.
Lump of thick bone
Lump of thick bone
■ Some ankylosaurs were so well-protected they even had bony eyelids.
■ Dinosaur remains were first found in Antarctica in 1986, with the discovery of the bulky ankylosaur Antarctopelta.
Psephoderma was a marine reptile. Its body was covered in heavy hexagonal plates, like a modern turtle.
Who had bulletproof skin?
| A Recent research has shown that the skin on the backs and tails of some of the ankylosaurs was virtually bullet-proof— and certainly tooth-proof. The big scutes, smaller irregular plates, and the hexagonal plates interlocked to make the skin so tough and light that experts have likened it to fiberglass.
Which dinosaur is bone-headed?
Pachycephalosaurus was an ugly beast. It had a dome-shaped head edged with horny bumps, and several short bony spikes on its nose. The dome was made of solid bone, which was a whopping 10 in (25 cm) thick. Pachycephalosaurus may have used its head as a battering ram against attacking predators—or each other.
Were any sauropods armored?
| A Although most of the sauropods relied on their size to defend themselves, some of them were lightly armored, too. Saltasaurus had two types of armor. Its back and neck were covered in fist-sized bony scutes, and much smaller lumps toughened the skin all over its body.
Were frills defensive?
The plated and horned groups of dinosaurs developed some impressive features. They had great frills edged with studs and spikes around their heads, or triangular plates of skin and bone along their backs. Some were used in fighting. But experts believe that some dinosaur features were just for display. Like a peacock's colorful fan of feathers, a male Pentaceratops's head frill may have been used to help it attract a mate.
Large neck frill
Which dinosaur had the spikiest frill?
| A Styracosaurus was one of the most spectacular looking of the horned dinosaurs. Its head broadened into a large frill that covered the back of its neck. Six long spikes flared from the top of the frill, and the sides were edged with studs. Styracosaurus also had a big horn on its snout, but seemingly no horns above its eyes.
Plain, bulky body
Could a skull be a battering ram?
Triceratops, or "three-horned face," had a short nose horn and two long horns above its eyes. Its neck frill was edged with bony studs. About 50 Triceratops skulls have been discovered, and many of them show scarring. This is strong evidence that the dinosaur used its tough skull as a weapon against larger predators.
Did horned dinosaurs fight each other?
| A The horned dinosaurs would have fought off attacking theropods, but they probably also clashed with each other. They may have crashed their heads together, damaging each other's frills with their horns and spikes, or locked horns and shoved. Such battles would have been fought over territory or potential mates.
Large, bony plates
Large, bony plates
What were Stegosaurus's plates for?
The bony plates running along Stegosaurus's back were almost certainly not weapons. Experts think they were covered in skin, making them quite soft, with blood vessels (veins) inside. If this is correct, the plates may have helped to regulate body temperature. They would have absorbed the Sun's heat, warming up Stegosaurus.
■ The plant-eating dinosaur Protoceratops had a neck frill, but the males had much bigger frills than the females. This support« the idea that frills attracted females.
■ The head of Styracosaurus was taller than an average-sized man!
■ Some dinosaurs, including Stegoceras, had bony thickenings on their skulls. They were too fragile to provide self-defense and were probably used to attract mates.
Which dinosaur had a main sail?
The big carnivore Spinosaurus had spines up to 6 ft (2 m) long along its back. These were connected by skin, making the feature look like a sail. This sail may have helped Spinosaurus keep cool in the hot African climate, or simply been used for display—to attract a mate.
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