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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>

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