The Triceratops is one of the most interesting dinosaurs. Its name comes from the Greek tri, which means three, waxes, which means horn and tops, which means face, so its name literally refers to its most outstanding characteristic, having three horns on its face. The Triceratops lived approximately 68 million years ago in the Mastrichtian period in North America and were one of the last dinosaurs to appear. In addition to his three horns he had a long tail that had bones and was very mobile. The Triceratops was a sturdy, four-legged dinosaur, said to be very much like the modern rhinoceros. It is believed that it was between 7 and 9 meters long and approximately 3 meters high so it was not a small dinosaur, for this reason and because of its horns it is believed that it could defend itself from large predators such as the Tyrannosaurus, as they shared time and territory, although this has never been proven.
Unfortunately we do not have a complete skeleton of this dinosaur, some have been reconstructed with the information we have, although the partial remains that were recovered since 1887 can know much about how it was and how it behaved. The first thing that was found of this dinosaur was a pair of horns and a piece of skull, this in Colorado, in the United States. At first these remains were attributed to a bison, but years later it was discovered that they actually belonged to a dinosaur. This was when a third specimen was found in 1888 that could be described as it was by entering the ceratops family and not the bison family. His description was made by the scientist Othniel Charles Marsh. Most of the remains have been made in the United States in states such as Montana and South Dakota, as well as in Canada, in Alberta.
The Triceratops were herbivores, which means that they ate plants, because of their large volume they assumed that they had to consume large amounts of plants a day just to be able to move and function properly so they were always close to the food and did it many times a day. His mouth was more or less like that of a parakeet of our days, which allowed him to pull out herbs and had typical teeth in a herbivore, not sharp, rather flat, had 36 to 40 columns of teeth with 3 to 5 teeth per column, giving us a tremendous total of 432 to 800 teeth, a whole crushing machine, precisely because they needed a lot of food to stay alive and the best part is that when one of their teeth was worn out, it would fall out and a new one would come out.
The head of the Triceratops was low, which means that it fed on grass on the ground and chewed its food for a long time, more or less like a cow. Another theory says that because of its volume and horns it could have thrown trees and eaten the branches directly. Their teeth and theories of digestion suggest that their diet consisted of many ferns and cycads, which they had easy access to in the meadows.
The main virtue of the Triceratops was its large head, although it weighed between 6 and 12 tons, by far this weight was to support its head which is one of the largest of all known animals that have lived on earth. What makes this head special and great are the three horns, whose function has been widely discussed and theorized. The most common is that they used them as a form of defense by going to their predators as a bull would, causing great damage. Another theory is that they were used to show strength and masculinity during sexual courtship, even though it is believed that these horns had to do with regulating the temperature in his body.
The horns were distributed as follows: above his mouth he had a horn and the other pair measuring about a meter long were above his eyes, in addition to all this, at the back of his head he had a kind of crown called a bone gland, as it is an extension of the neck.
Where else can you find him?
The Triceratops, is only after Tyrannosaurus Rex in the list of the best known dinosaurs, so it is widely represented in films, documentaries and books. Of course it appears in Jurassic Park, in the first three films, in the documentary “Walking with Dinosaurs” or in The Truth about the Killer Dinosaurs. It’s funny that in a lot of movies they call them three horns. He’s also on TV shows like the Power Rangers, including Barney and his friends.