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  (Source: montana.edu)

  (Source: montana.edu)
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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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?


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