Several Triceratops fossils have been discovered with Tyrannosaurus bite and scratch marks, leading us to believe that one of Triceratops' predators was Tyrannosaurus. Triceratops was built to be a fortress. With a giant head with a beak built for crushing tough plants and stalks, 3 long curved horns and a frill to protect Triceratops' neck. If a Tyrannosaurus got hold of the Triceratops' neck, it would likely be a matter of time before the Triceratops tired itself out and died. Because of that, it is the most likely reason the neck frill evolved.
The Triceratops would have traveled as a large group. Whenever predators would have attacked the herd, it has been theorized that the healthy adults would form a ring, and the young and weak members would go into the center of the ring. This formation would form a trough wall of horns, making it virtually impossible for the predators to pick off any member of the herd. The strong bodies and legs of the Triceratops would have been great for long distance movement.
Triceratops was discovered by George Lyman Cannon in Denver, Colorado. Lyman discovered a pair of brow horns and brought them to Othniel Charles Marsh who drew the conclusion Triceratops was a genus of Pliocene bison. Naming it Bison alticornis, it was later corrected by Charles Arthur Guernsey.
Because or Cope and Marsh's rivalry, many of the fossils discovered were assigned a new taxa or considered a synonym because they had been so petty. Here is a list of Triceratops species that are either doubted, or proven false because of the Bone Wars.
- T. albertensis
- T. brevicornus (=T. prorsus)
- T. calicornis (=T. horridus)
- T. elatus (=T. horridus)
- T. eurycephalus
- T. flabellatus (= Sterrholophus) (=T. horridus)
- T. galeus
- T. hatcheri (See Nedoceratops)
- T. ingens
- T. maximus
- T. mortuarius (originally Polyonax mortuarius)
- T. obtusus (=T. horridus)
- T. serratus (=T. horridus)
- T. sulcatus
- T. sylvestris (originally Agathaumas sylvestris)
OntogenyIn 2011, Jack Horner performed a study where he cut open Dinosaur skulls. He was searching for immature bones within the skulls of the animals. Some of the animals that were dissected were Nedoceratops, Ojoceratops, Tatankaceratops, Triceratops and Torosaurus. From the study, it was concluded that the animals were all growth stages. The growth of Triceratops goes as follow: Ojoceratops, Triceratops, Nedoceratops, Tatankaceratops, and Torosaurus. Because Ojoceratops, Tatankaceratops, Nedoceratops and Torosaurus were all discovered after Triceratops, they are now invalid genera and considered synonyms of Triceratops or nomium dubium. The genera Agathaumas and Polyonax are now considered dubious because of similarities with Triceratops. The genus Sterrholophus has been confirmed to be a skull of Triceratops.
- Triceratops (Diceratops), or just Diceratops was suggested to have been a subgenus of Triceratops before made synonymous with Nedoceratops, and then Triceratops.