Pachycephalosaurus

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Pachycephalosaurus
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Skull of Pachycephalosaurus at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Cerapoda
Infraorder: Pachycephalosauria
Family: Pachycephalosauridae
Genus: Pachycephalosaurus
Brown & Schlaikjer, 1943
Species

P. wyomingensis (Gilmore, 1931) (type)

Pachycephalosaurus was a genus of ornithischian dinosaur which lived during the last five million years of the Upper Cretaceous. It lived in what is now North America. Pachycephalosaurus was a member of the Pachycephalosaurid family. This dinosaur is only known from a single skull and a few extremely thick skull roofs. From this it is estimated that its length was about 4.5 to 5 metres long (about 15 feet). It is the largest known pachycephalosaur.

Scientists do not yet know for sure what these dinosaurs ate. Having very small, ridged teeth they could not have chewed tough, fibrous plants as effectively as other dinosaurs of the same period. It is assumed that pachycephalosaurs lived on a mixed diet of leaves, seeds, fruit and insects. The sharp, serrated teeth would have been very effective for shredding plants.[1]

The locomotion of Pachycephalosaurus might have included bipedal walking, but this goes beyond the available evidence. Only the skull is known.

References[change | change source]

  1. Maryańska, Teresa; Chapman, Ralph E.; and Weishampel, David B. (2004). "Pachycephalosauria". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 464–477. ISBN 0-520-24209-2 .