Pachycephalosaurus

Pachycephalosaurus

The name Pachycephalosaurus comes from the Greek and means’Thick-headed Reptile’ which is in fact its main characteristic. This dinosaur has only one species and is classified as a pachycephalosaurinid marginocephalous. This is a very interesting dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous period, 70 million years ago in North America, its bones have been found mainly in the United States in the states of Montana, Dakota and Wyoming. The Pachycephalosaurus walked on two legs and is believed to be omnivorous, meaning that it could eat both animals and plants, in fact we are omnivorous.

The Pachycephalosaurus is one of the largest known paquicephalosaurids, measuring up to 5 meters and weighing up to 200 kilos. He had a small head but his eyes were very large, so much so that it is believed that he had excellent vision even binoculars. His neck was S-shaped which was sturdy and short, this supported very well his head which was very heavy. His head had a dome that gave him a very interesting appearance and surely frightened his predators. His legs were short and very thick, perfect for supporting his large body, his hind legs were thicker and had a thicker tail that gave balance to his whole body.

Not many pieces of this dinosaur are known, what is preserved almost entirely is its skull and parts of its dome are extremely thick. The known species is Fr. Wyomingenesis, these remains were found in the first half of 1850, their bones were found by Ferdinand Vanderveer Hayden, a fossil-collecting adventurer, who found the first remains near the Missouri River, now it is known that this area is part of the Lanceen formation. The first thing that was found was not immediately identified as a Pachycephalosaurus, but it was thought to be a plate of another type of dinosaur or some ancestor of the armadillos. It was not recognized as a Pachycephalosaurus until Donald Baird studied it in 1859, it was at this time that the bone was recognized as part of the skull of the Pachycephalosaurus and its morphology was discovered.

There is still not much certainty about what he ate, there is a great debate about whether Pachycephalosaurus was a herbivore, that is to say that it fed exclusively on plants, or whether it was an omnivore, that is to say that it fed on both animals and plants, this is the most accepted among experts. The mouth of the Pachycephalosaurus ended in a long beak at the end, more or less like that of a parakeet, but really big. It had very small teeth, however they were powerful, they were not designed to grind plants like other dinosaurs, however they could be very effective with the most resistant and even fibrous plants. These teeth could also be very effective, for eating small insects. Of course he was not a predator or a scavenger, however it is believed that he was able to eat small lizards and insects to supplement his diet.

What makes Pachycephalosaurus special is the shape of its head, it is one of the most particular heads in the world of dinosaurs. Although only its skull is known and not its entirety, there are many things that can be inferred from it. Its skull was large and thick and its most characteristic part was that it had a dome, a kind of hard, thick dome at the tip of its head, so thick that it could measure up to 25 centimetres thick. In the back there were nodules or bumps of bone and also spikes near the muzzle that were a little more rounded.

There are many theories as to how Pachycephalosaurus used this particular head. The first theory is that they used their heads to hit their opponents in combat, the idea is that they would stand parallel and run towards each other by hitting each other, they could also use them to intimidate their opponents or predators. This hypothesis is supported by the thickness of his head that could withstand very strong blows, in fact this theory that began in 1978 has been reaffirmed by Ken Carpenter recently.

There are many who disagree with this theory and think that the reason the Pachycephalosaurus had such a thick skull was simply to protect their brain that it was very small and delicate.

Where else can you find him?

Unfortunately we can’t find it in many movies, the advantage is that most of the toy lines dedicated to dinosaurs have a Pachycephalosaurus so you will have the opportunity to study it in more detail.