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Toroceratops

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By Qilong   |   Watch
Published: February 27, 2014
An adult of the youngest ceratopsian, Triceratops, restored with the skull of the "very adult Torosaurus." Hide follows discovery of pebbly, irregular belly scales and spikish dorsal "scutes" (non-bony). Head would be liberally covered in a close-fitted keratin sheets.
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Comments13
anonymous's avatar
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Kazuma27's avatar
Kazuma27Hobbyist General Artist
He BEGS to be hugged, just looks at his expression! ;)
Qilong's avatar
Do it, and he'll bite you. In half.
Kazuma27's avatar
Kazuma27Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, ceratopsid beaks look viciously sharp, a gigantic version of parrot beaks i may add...
Qilong's avatar
Indeed. The comparison is apt, although I've come to realize there's a few extra birds we can throw into the mix:

1. Parrot-like, with a flat ventral premaxilla. 2. Falcon-like, with extra little prongs on the side. 3. Duck-like, with sides of the lower beak faceted to match the upper prongs and provide a unique triturating surface.

There's more, but ceratopsian beaks are more complex than most realize.
Tomozaurus's avatar
TomozaurusStudent General Artist
The belly scales are not pebbly and irregular, but rectangular and aranged in even rows. The scales as a whole are also larger than you seem to show here (that might be very well because you just didn't show them other than a few of the "nipples" though). This figure shows it nicely: www.omniology.com/dino-skin/2.…

Additionally, what is the evidence at all that the "head would be liberally covered in a close-fitted keratin sheets." Not that this is conclusive, but the "Dueling Dinosaurs" specimen seems to show scales like those of the body preserved on the frill. (This obviously doesn't mean much until the specimen is examined and published, if that ever happens, but it's something at least.)
Qilong's avatar
The rectangular scales appear to be around the neck, but not similar to the scute-like structures that have been found around the sides and bellies of centrosaurines from Dinosaur Park. I'd not extrapolate the one to the other without better data, and the "Dueling Dinosaurs" -- being unpublished, unexamined in a certain professional, systematic manner -- doesn't seem to counteract my extrapolation. Ceratopsians and hadrosaurs both seem to have an array of large tubercular scales that extend from the sides down onto the belly.

As for the head, this has much to do with the smoothness of the frill and the persistence of vascular channels in the surface, which have been compared to the incidence of keratin sheaths in mammal horns, bird claws and beaks. It's plausible there isn't such a sheet over all these portions of the skull, or even over the frill itself, but this is being a tad artistic.
Tomozaurus's avatar
TomozaurusStudent General Artist
All good then. Do you have a reference of the structures for the dinosaur park centrosaurines, I'd quite like to see.
DinoBirdMan's avatar
DinoBirdManStudent Artist
That's nice! But this is not a fully mature triceratops after all.
Qilong's avatar
I'm not sure what you mean.
DinoBirdMan's avatar
DinoBirdManStudent Artist
I mean, That "Toroceratops" the torosaurus is not a triceratops.:p
Qilong's avatar
ah, I see what you mean. That's a matter of some debate, and unlike some matters of science this one really is ambivalent. I am not arguing for it, hence why I'm using the name "Toroceratops" and the tags are "Triceratops, Torosaurus." I am not confusing the two into one, nor am I making assumptions on their being synonyms.
DinoBirdMan's avatar
DinoBirdManStudent Artist
I see.^^
anonymous's avatar
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