Jun 17, 2020
This time out it’s another iconic dinosaur and the beautiful Triceratops. These huge animals with their famous three horns and large frill are a major part of so many documentaries and films, if only so they can be seen to be battling with Tyrannosaurus. As with so many of the most famous dinosaurs, Triceratops is actually quite unusual and not really representative of the group to which it belongs. It is the largest of the ceratopsians (or horned dinosaurs) and the only one with a solid frill, and was also probably rather less gregarious than many of its near relatives. We talk about these features and the possible functions of its amazing headgear, before we are joined by this week’s guest - TV’s cake-maker and podcaster Ralph Attanasia. He has a specific and challenging question for Dave about dinosaur faces and their cheeks (or lack thereof).
An old blogpost of Dave’s looking at the details of a Triceratops skull on display in Oxford: https://archosaurmusings.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/triceratops-skull-in-detail/
A photo of a huge Triceratops skull taken by palaeontologists Matt Wedel and Mike Taylor: https://svpow.com/2016/05/06/sv-pow-endorses-triceratops/
A blogpost on some research led by Dave’s PhD student (now Dr) Andy Knapp on ceratopsian frills and their evolution: https://archosaurmusings.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/ceratopsian-horns-and-frills-what-drove-their-evolution/ and the full research paper is here: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2018.0312