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The three-horned dinosaur may have been just a different stage of the Torosaurus.

Some paleontologists are rewriting the history of the dinosaur. Experts have concluded that the Triceratops may have never existed, according to the Montana State University News Service and the Chicago Tribune. 

Since the 1800's, scientists have believed that the Triceratops and the Torosaurus were two separate dinosaurs, but now two researchers at Montana State University have concluded that the Triceratops and the Torosaurus were actually one in the same -- at different stages of growth.   

Both dinosaurs had a three-horned skull but while the Triceratops had a smaller frill, the Torosaurus had a larger frill with two large holes in it. 

MSU paleontologists John Scannella and Jack Horner noticed while considering more than 100 years of dinosaur research, that the remains of a young Torosaurus had never been found.

After participating in a 10-year study led by Horner, researchers concluded that the Triceratops hadn't lived long enough to fully develop the frill that would identify them as a Torosaurus.  Horner and Scannella published their findings in the July edition of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

According to Scannella, the confusion over Triceratops and Torosaurus was easy to understand, because juvenile dinosaurs looked very different, and their skulls changed radically as they matured.

"Paleontologists are at a disadvantage because we can't go out into the field and observe a living Triceratops grow up from a baby to an adult," Scannella said. "We have to put together the story based on fossils. In order to get the complete story, you need to have a large sample of fossils from many individuals representing different growth stages."

Recent studies by scientists have revealed extreme changes in the skulls of pachycephalosaurs, tyrannosaurs and other dinosaurs that died out about 65 million years ago in North America.

Scannella and Horner examined more than 50 Triceratops specimens for their study.

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Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By Darkefire on 8/10/2010 1:08:27 PM , Rating: 5
Why can't they just say that Torosaurus is in fact just an adult Triceratops? If it's six of one and a half-dozen of the other, why piss all over one of the few dinosaurs we can remember and recognize from the early years we dreamed of becoming paleontologists?

Oh, right, because otherwise nobody would pay any attention. Science needs a better PR department.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By Spivonious on 8/10/2010 1:17:41 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly. Who ever heard of a Torosaurus? I was huge into dinosaurs as a kid and I never heard of it. I'm still a bit disappointed that they chose Apatosaurus over Brontosaurus.

Next they'll be telling us that Tyranosaurus was just an adult Allosaur.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By Iaiken on 8/10/2010 1:53:32 PM , Rating: 5
Who ever heard of a Torosaurus?

*raises hand*

I've always loved the horned dinosaurs along with Triceratops, Chasmosaurus, Protoceratops and other members of the Ceratopsinae family.

If true, I would have to say I agree that the should stick with Triceratops due to it being more recognizable by the public at large.

The question I have is why are many of the existing Triceratops skeletons the same size (or bigger) as the Torosaur skeletons?

Adult morphology is an understandable theory, but it just doesn't seem to add up in this case. They're going to need a serious body of evidence if they want to rewrite past ideas.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By shin0bi272 on 8/10/2010 3:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you 100%. My theory is they want to call the smaller torosaurus the triceratops to "shake up" the paleontology world... god forbid they name the smaller ones the new name and not cause all of the history books to be rewritten.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By CZroe on 8/10/2010 4:14:28 PM , Rating: 5
Want to shake things up? Just scrap both and give them a stupid new name:

"Charizard... I CHOOSE YOU!"

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By Calindar on 8/10/2010 6:43:44 PM , Rating: 5
LOL that's exactly what I was thinking. Triceratops evolves into Torosaur when it reaches level 30.

By Alphafox78 on 8/16/2010 4:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
They lowered the level, its now level 20.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By marvdmartian on 8/10/2010 4:30:46 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't the TOROsaurus the dinosaur that Fred Flintstone used to cut his lawn???

These "scientists" are probably related to the same assclowns that told us that Pluto's not really a planet. Yeah, right! Guess what? MY solar system still has nine planets in it.....and a Triceratops too!!

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By FaceMaster on 8/10/2010 6:15:30 PM , Rating: 5
Guess what? MY solar system still has nine planets in it.....and a Triceratops too!!

You're right, new discoveries are simply made by assclowns who are there to irritate people! MY solar system still revolves around the Earth, which happens to be completely flat!

By Bonesdad on 8/10/2010 6:38:53 PM , Rating: 5
awesome reply...

By marvdmartian on 8/11/2010 9:33:16 AM , Rating: 2
You know, I always wondered......where does the water go, when it reaches the edge??

Be careful not to lean over too far, if you decide to check!! ;)

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By gamerk2 on 8/11/2010 7:59:25 AM , Rating: 3
My Solar System still counts Pallas and Ceres as planets, and will expand to increase Eris in short time.

By any logic you consider Pluto a planet, you also have to add Pallas and Eris, and possibly several other objects as well.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By sc3252 on 8/11/2010 2:12:44 PM , Rating: 5
I never did understand why those weirdos started a hate campaign against the guy who came up with Pluto isn't a planet thing. Not really sure why people are so emotionally attached to these things. I guess it explains though why people are so against same sex marriage, why people hate people of other skin and any other weird habit people picked up when they were a kid and just can't let go of.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By xti on 8/11/2010 3:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
how did you feel when they told you Columbus was really a big scam?

By sc3252 on 8/11/2010 6:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
Christopher Columbus? I guess I was disappointed in whatever grade I was in, why do you ask? I remember it was specifically talked about in 11th grade(mentioned in junior high), but nothing gets past me today about these so called "explorers". Of course maybe you are talking about the the vikings being there first, and not about genocide of the native populations?

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By gamerk2 on 8/10/2010 1:21:09 PM , Rating: 5
It would come down to which name entered common usuage first; in this case, Triceratops probably wins due to common usage, but if true, there will be a reclassification.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By rcc on 8/10/2010 1:32:10 PM , Rating: 5
Yup, because Torosaur sounds like a load of bull....

By Flunk on 8/10/2010 1:36:15 PM , Rating: 5
Common usage doesn't matter, publishing of the first official scientific paper is the measure.

By Bearach on 8/12/2010 9:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know if I'm right, maybe I'm wrong but if that was the case. Then Triceratops should be the name used, the Triceratops was named 2 years before a Torosaurus was even found.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By Flunk on 8/10/2010 1:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the convention is that the one that was named first gets the name. We all remember Apatosaurus right?

By this token Triceratops was discovered first so it's the name that should be kept. I guess "There is No Such Thing as a Torosaurus and there Never Was" wasn't as catchy.

P.S. Allosaurus lived millons of years after Tyrannosaurus so any speculation in that direction is misinformed.

By gamerk2 on 8/11/2010 8:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
The international naming convention is that the earliest name get used, unless the alternative is widly enough used. Tyranosaurs is probably the best example of the second name eventually being accepted, simply due to popular usage.

So Triceratops is almost certainly safe.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By TheHarvester on 8/10/2010 1:45:16 PM , Rating: 4
Not sure what the deal is with this article... My understanding, according to what I've found in some other news sources, according to the naming conventions in paleontology, Triceratops will remain the name of the species because it was actually discovered before the Torosaurus.

Even Wikipedia says "In 1891, two years AFTER the discovery of Triceratops" ...

By geddarkstorm on 8/11/2010 1:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the science daily article said it was Triceratops that was being kept, and Torosaurus was being ditched.

By The0ne on 8/10/2010 1:50:36 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite dinosaur, getting in the heat...sigh.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By smegz on 8/10/2010 2:06:24 PM , Rating: 5
Triceratops will not get the shaft. Torosaurus will. Since the name Triceratops was used first, the Torosaurus will now be called Triceratops. Is it too much to ask for a little thoroughness in reporting?

"Because the Triceratops was named first, that designation will be kept and the name Torosaurus stricken from the records. Farewell, Torosaurus."

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By AssBall on 8/10/2010 3:44:30 PM , Rating: 5
Thoroughness in reporting? Here?

I'll get back to you when I finish laughing.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By borismkv on 8/10/2010 6:15:11 PM , Rating: 5
They're very thorough here. They thoroughly copy the work of someone else.

RE: Why does Triceratops get the shaft?
By TSS on 8/11/2010 12:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is not true. Last i saw an article in which "micro-array's" that where implanted in the brain, with 2 sources using that word, get changed to "computer cursors" that get implanted. Even google can't find any definition of "cursor" that you would want to have implanted in your brain.

They can't even copy right. But it's entertaining, though.

By MattCoz on 8/10/2010 2:07:07 PM , Rating: 5
That's actually exactly what they're doing, but it keeps getting misreported to attract more hits.

By sleepeeg3 on 8/10/2010 4:08:33 PM , Rating: 3
According to the almighty WikiPedia, Triceratops was the first one to be named, so Torosaurus is the one that would need to be erased.
They also examined 38 skulls, not 50.

Original reference is this paid article:

By bupkus on 8/10/2010 4:13:14 PM , Rating: 4
Next they'll be saying that Scooby-Doo wasn't a real dog.

<falls on floor and rolls up into fetal position>

By IamJedi on 8/10/2010 12:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that you can collect DNA samples from bones, and possibly recreate life that has gone extinct. E.G. dinosaurs

If that is so, where is my Jurassic Park?

RE: lakfd
By HostileEffect on 8/10/2010 1:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Until we get a universal constructor its unlikely that you will have any such park. If you wanted to clone, you still need something to grow the clone in, but we have no such similar animals around and we also lack eggs and usable DNA... so... >.> no soup for you!

RE: lakfd
By arazok on 8/10/2010 2:05:51 PM , Rating: 5
My mother in law is an old dinosaur, could they use her?

RE: lakfd
By HostileEffect on 8/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: lakfd
By mindless1 on 8/10/2010 11:22:54 PM , Rating: 4
It is a folly to assume you should automatically respect someone - after they have given you reason to not respect them.

Reality check - some people are scum, if they manage to survive till they are older than you, it is not in any way making them worthy of respect.

"animal"? That is just such an ignorant nonsensical load of BS. Judge each person on their actions, forget about anything but that.

RE: lakfd
By mindless1 on 8/10/2010 8:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's worth a try, insert the DNA into alligator eggs? Then again, I'm against the idea of man creating new species... could upset the balance of nature and all that, knowing that sooner or later some will manage to get out into the wild due to some PETA raid that releases them all.

RE: lakfd
By nmrahde on 8/10/2010 9:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
Then you'll love this...

...sadly it's still a LOOOONG ways away from me being able to order up a custom Triceratops, but still pretty neat.

RE: lakfd
By Camikazi on 8/11/2010 11:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
I can't wait to order my own custom grown mini Velociraptor, or maybe a mini Deinonychus in a large bird cage!

RE: lakfd
By tmouse on 8/11/2010 7:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
While you MAY be able to get some DNA from bones you cannot get it from fossils. Jurassic Park is just a piece of fiction that jumbled some jargon to produce an entertaining story. To clone anything you need an intact undamaged nucleus with its intrinsic proteins and nucleic acids structurally intact, depending on the species even this can be a long shot and in the case of mammals the resulting animal has varying amounts of deformities (most often organomegaly). You cannot just put naked DNA into another egg and produce an animal form the DNA donors species.

RE: lakfd
By Bateluer on 8/17/2010 6:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
They didn't get the dino DNA from fossils in Jurassic Park either, they extracted it from the blood inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. But even that DNA wasn't complete, they used the DNA of other reptiles/amphibians to fill in the holes.

The book was still a work of fiction, but it does raise interesting possibilities. Not every extinct creature is fossilized, consider some of the mammoth species or the giant flightless birds. Viable DNA may be still be had from the frozen corpses or from pelts or actual bones.

RE: lakfd
By geddarkstorm on 8/11/2010 1:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, we can't do that. They already tried with some triceratops bones (oh irony), and discovered that the DNA was 100% identical to turkeys. In fact, 100% identical to a turkey sandwich being eaten on a bench nearby.

So, nope, those there bones are just too old to contain any remnant DNA.

RE: lakfd
By Bateluer on 8/17/2010 6:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
Because there are no such thing as dinosaur bones. Its all stone.

By MrTeal on 8/10/2010 12:35:23 PM , Rating: 5
Next you'll be telling me that Pluto isn't a planet.

RE: Sacrilege!
By iceonfire1 on 8/10/2010 12:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
Nope! Here in Illinois its planetary status will always be sacrosanct.

RE: Sacrilege!
By rtrski on 8/10/2010 1:13:36 PM , Rating: 4
Thanks for Charon.

RE: Sacrilege!
By Kurz on 8/10/2010 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Cute ;)

RE: Sacrilege!
By raumkrieger on 8/10/2010 2:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Or that tomatoes are fruits.

RE: Sacrilege!
By geddarkstorm on 8/11/2010 1:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hey! Ketchup is an important part of the food pyramid. Didn't McDonald's teach you anything?

By acer905 on 8/10/2010 12:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
Usually i don't pay too much attention to how old the news here may be... but when I find out something from failblog, and then a week later it ends up here... I'd say thats a bit much... Really, the only reason I've ever came here for the news has been for the comments (I personally can't stand the format that other sites use for comments, especially straight line comments sorted only newest to last) But lately there don't seem to be as many people commenting... Sad...

RE: ...
By Mitch101 on 8/10/2010 1:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have to admit myself this is the second article on DT I read on Gizmodo maybe a week ago myself.

From running a deals and bargains site some time ago I understand that you need to have constant content to keep regulars coming back but like the previous poster I too am sad to see something from last week posted here.

I too am noticing the lack of posting here maybe a poll is needed to find out why people are posting less. You may not hear what you want but it should shed light on what is causing people to leave or not comment.

RE: ...
By LordSooooStupid on 8/10/2010 1:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
" But lately there don't seem to be as many people commenting... Sad... "

That could be because the GW tripe has worn thin and the religion bashing is hot on its heels. Seriously, believe in either or not, the constant bashing and the writing of these types of articles just for the hits is old already. The true believers are not going to change their minds, so why bother?
IMO, Toms is worse. It seems like Toms is chocked full of tweens who only post for the sake of posting. Romper Room if you will.
This site is supposed to be daily"TECH".

RE: ...
By Flunk on 8/10/2010 1:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you like I'm sure I can write a convincing flame bot to punch it up around here. Post all those "Me too!" posts and make this site just as bad as Tom's.

Actually it would take more than that to be as bad as Tom's.

Jesus H .. what next ???
By WT on 8/10/2010 1:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
Pluto is not going to be considered a planet ?? This is INSANITY !

RE: Jesus H .. what next ???
By gamerk2 on 8/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Jesus H .. what next ???
By Helbore on 8/10/2010 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
The status of "planet" has nothing to do with size and everything to do with what it said my my 1980s schoolbook. Otherwise it would mean my teachers weren't infallible and sometimes talked crap.


RE: Jesus H .. what next ???
By menace on 8/10/2010 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well Eris is indeed the largest dwarf planet but the others you mention are all asteroids whose size is well established and all have less than half the radius of Pluto's 1150 km: Pallas 544 km, Ceres 487 km, Vesta 270 km mean (bumpy) Juno ~125 km (a very clumpy object). Nice try though.

There are some dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt (Eris is near asteroid belt but not technically in it because it has steep incline) that may be larger than Pluto, including Sedna (very likely) Haumea (2003 EL_6) (likely) Quaoar (about 50:50) Orcus (not likely). These distant objects have large uncertainty (10%-25%) in the radius estimates so you can't say for certain they are larger or smaller. I just look it up on WikiP not trying to pretend to be smart.

RE: Jesus H .. what next ???
By DanNeely on 8/10/2010 4:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
Pluto and the other KBO's are significantly different than the main belt asteroids. The asteroids are primarily rocky bodies. KBO's have significantly lower densities indicating that significant fractions of their volumes are ice.

The Land Before Time
By Believer on 8/10/2010 3:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
Cera: This is the Great Valley? You're crazy! I'm leaving!
Littlefoot: Cera, we have to keep following the bright circle.
Cera: I'm taking the easy way.
Littlefoot: But it's the WRONG WAY!
Cera: Who says?
Littlefoot: My mother.
Cera: Then SHE was a stupid long neck too.
Littlefoot: Take that back!
Cera: Never!
Littlefoot: TAKE IT BACK!
Cera: NO!

Stupid is who risk getting their entire existence classified as a wrong turn, Cera.
Now take that you arrogant stuck-up false three-horn you!

RE: The Land Before Time
By Camikazi on 8/10/2010 4:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Got a little bit of repressed anger against Cera there huh?

RE: The Land Before Time
By geddarkstorm on 8/11/2010 1:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
That scream of hers will haunt me for all my days.. urg.

Power Rangers
By Zerovoltage on 8/10/2010 12:46:11 PM , Rating: 5
Billy is going to be pissed.

Tech news?
By rcc on 8/10/2010 1:33:48 PM , Rating: 5
Ok, it's kind of interesting. But is it tech news?

Dear Science
By Yawgm0th on 8/10/2010 2:25:37 PM , Rating: 5
Please stop pissing on my memories of childhood. Thanks.

Complete fail on this article
By morose on 8/10/2010 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 5
Talk about a sensationalist, inaccurate, and down right irksome title. Torosaurus is the dino that is being delisted... not Triceratops. 2 minutes of research would have turned that up. Oh, and one more thing now also being delisted? DailyTech from my RSS feeds.

By Silver2k7 on 8/11/2010 4:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
Of course they existed, and since they where discovered first or atleast are the most commonly used name, this name will continue to be used.. while the name Torosauros will be discontinued.

Triceratops (stays)
Torosaurus (will become triceratops)

RE: Stupid
By Silver2k7 on 8/11/2010 4:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
"Torosaurus will now be abolished as a species and specimens reassigned to Triceratops, says Horner."

By ninjaquick on 8/10/2010 1:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is madness...

By tlbj6142 on 8/10/2010 1:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
I watched a dino show a several months ago in which Horner stated that he believes we might be able to reduce the number of "known" dino species by as much as two-thirds due to the issue discussed in the article.

Apparently, many dinos go through some significant physical changes throughout their natural lives.

Triceratops did EXIST!!
By aguilpa1 on 8/10/2010 2:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
And PLUTO is still a Planet! Oh now you did not just change names and rewrite my history.

By snikt on 8/10/2010 2:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
Oh right, and I suppose Fred Flintstone never slid down the back of a dinosaur....pffft...

This is Unexpected
By GTVic on 8/10/2010 3:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
In other paleontology news, an long-held "scientific" belief based on an assumption made from a single 2cm bone fragment found in 1954 has now been proven to be false. Surprise!

By sleepeeg3 on 8/10/2010 3:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
Time to break out the pitchforks and torches!

Ankylosaurus FTW!
By kyleb2112 on 8/10/2010 4:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
Meh, Triceratops was the dinosaur for noobs--even GIRLS knew about that one.

Ankylosaurus, now that's a bad ass beastie. And they keep ADDING spikes as the years go by!

By bravacentauri83 on 8/10/2010 6:01:45 PM , Rating: 2

my world is dashed!
By zinfamous on 8/10/2010 7:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
First Pluto, and now this!


Dinobots are down one
By rburnham on 8/11/2010 10:18:24 AM , Rating: 2
So you are telling me that the Transformers cartoon was full of crap? Oh that makes me sad. Why, Wheeljack? Why?

Kind of makes you wonder...
By vortmax2 on 8/11/2010 11:38:45 AM , Rating: 2 things are taught to us as fact, yet they seem to change as time goes on. It would be nice that if there was some humility in textbooks/science community that said: "Based on what we have discovered so far, we believe this to be true."

Toroceritops is extinct
By gamerk2 on 8/11/2010 1:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
From wikipedia:

This classification found additional support in 2010 from John Scannella and Jack Horner at the Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana). After examining 38 skulls from the Hell Creek formation, Scanella and Horner concluded that the mature form of Triceratops did not even have a shortened frill. The specimens long classified as Triceratops, they argued, represented juvenile and young adult individuals while mature individuals had been incorrectly assigned to a separate genus, Torosaurus.[3] It was already known that the frills of Triceratops grew progressively longer as individuals matured; Scanella and Horner said their findings showed that this growth could culminate in the extended, fenestrated frill associated with Torosaurus. With the name Triceratops taking historical priority, they announced that references to the genus Torosaurus would be eliminated from Museum of the Rockies exhibits

Triceratops never existed?
By rdhood on 8/12/2010 3:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh please... who writes this idiocy? So if they find a young hominid and then an old hominid... the young hominid never existed? It most certainly DID, and it left behind bones to prove it! Now, if the statement is that "triceratops not a separate species from XXX or YYY", that is a completely different conclusion and headline from "never existed". Yes, this is all semantics, but we expect better from DT than language-challenged writers.

This is the work of....
By lukasbradley on 8/13/2010 7:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
Intelligent Design proponents

Science vs Religion
By monkeyman1140 on 8/13/2010 5:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
If they were biblical scholars rather than scientists, they would have continued to cling to the mistaken theory that Triceratops existed, because the dinosaur was referred to multiple times in various parts of the Dinobible.


Dino 22:3 "And lo, he stood the grand triceratops, and he offered it an olive branch, and it accepted his gift"

Good enough evidence for me! Those mamby pamby liberal scientists need to read the book more often!

Jack Horner kicks ass
By VoodooChicken on 8/10/2010 12:41:31 PM , Rating: 1
This guy is incredibly awesome! Letting him lose in Jurassic Park would be a LOT more entertaining than anything any Irwin or O'Shea or Grylls came up with.

By Zingam on 8/10/2010 3:33:38 PM , Rating: 1
NO! Nooooooo! Noooooooo! Nooooooo! It can't be! Noooooo!!!!

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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