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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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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.

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