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STEGOCERAS

a plant-eating pachycephalosaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Canada.
pachycephalosaurus
Pronunciation: ste-GOS-er-as
Meaning: Horn Roof
Author/s: Lambe (1972)
Synonyms: Ornatotholus browni
First Discovery: Alberta, Canada
Chart Position: 60

Stegoceras validum

Stegoceras is a pachycephalosaurid, a thick-skulled, bi-pedal leaf-eater, who may (or may not) have banged heads with rivals for mating rights a'la musk oxen and big horn sheep. It was also the first of its kind to be discovered in North America. Unfortunately, no one realised this at the time.

When Lawrence Lambe described Stegoceras in 1902 he thought it was some sort of ceratopsian and the thick, bony lump on the top of its head was the stump of a damaged horn. Better specimens showed this not to be the case but soon enough its teeth were being compared to another dinosaur and Stegoceras spent many a year being referred to, or synonymised with, Troodon. A mere 21 years later Charles Sternberg realized Troodon was a carnivorous theropod and he moved Stegoceras and its bone-headed relatives to their own clade—pachycephalosauridae—in 1945.

Sporting a three inch thick skull cap, Stegoceras looked like it was wearing a crash helmet and with added spikes it was an ideal tool for excerting ones dominance over lothario wannabes who were eyeing-up your ladies. But top speed head-to-head butts may have been suicidal, bearing in mind their curved necks weren't designed to absorb impact nor their domed skulls built for anything more than glancing blows, so they probably butted each other in the flanks instead. What's the point of winning a duel if you're too concussed to claim your prize?
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 80-73 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 2.4 meters
Est. max. hip height: 1.2 meters
Est. max. weight: 65 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Gilmore CW (1924) On Troödon validus, an ornithopodous dinosaur from the Belly River Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada.
• Robert M. Sullivan (2006) "A taxonomic review of the Pachycephalosauridae (Dinosauria: Ornithischia)".
• Robert M. Sullivan and Spencer G. Lucas (2006) "The pachycephalosaurid dinosaur Stegoceras validum from the Upper Cretaceous Fruitland Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico".
• Steven E. Jasinski and Robert M. Sullivan (2011) "Re-evaluation of pachycephalosaurids from the Fruitland-Kirtland transition (Kirtlandian, late Campanian), San Juan Basin, New Mexico, with a description of a new species of Stegoceras and a reassessment of Texacephale langstoni".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "STEGOCERAS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 23rd Mar 2017.
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