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Triceratops

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By ScottHartman   |   Watch
Published: January 9, 2008
© 2008 - 2019 ScottHartman
Triceratops was my favorite dinosaurs growing up (geez, I sound like Sam Niel in Jurassic Park...), so it was a lot of fun to do this. The WDC specimen is mature, but not very old (as demonstrated by lack of cranial ossification as well as brow-horn shape).

Edit: Small changes to the silhouette to make it current.
Image size
2048x1084px 536.38 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
Comments88
anonymous's avatar
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Taliesaurus's avatar
TaliesaurusHobbyist Digital Artist
is this a sub-adult?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist

Yes, it almost certainly is.

Taliesaurus's avatar
TaliesaurusHobbyist Digital Artist
ah... that explains it.
Rushkatansky's avatar
Was Eotriceratops really bigger than Triceratops?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
The single partial specimen is large, and larger than many Triceratops specimens, but not larger than some of the fragmentary specimens out there (and not large enough that I'd consider it to clearly be "larger" as a species, considering how much individual variation there is within a population). But it's good size, you wouldn't want to carpool with it.
Lordofthebush's avatar
What weight would you estimate for the largest Triceratops?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
I haven't done any volumetric estimates for ceratopsians myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if the largest specimens were in the 10-12 tonne range at least. There are footprints that are supposed to show even larger individuals (maybe approaching 20 tonnes) but I'm always a little suspicious of mass estimates based on footprints.
Lordofthebush's avatar
Wow, that's huge. Thanks for the reply!
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Wyoming Dinosaur Center.
genewm's avatar
Hi Scott.   Is there anyway I can purchase the JPG files (like I did with Sue) to be used in a educational anatomy poster?  This poster would be used to help identify the various triceratops fossil bones we find in the field up in Northeastern Montana every summer.
DovahsaurPaleoKnight's avatar
I would love to see you make a T. prorsus
Owlbaskingshark's avatar
OwlbaskingsharkHobbyist Traditional Artist
Same here.
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Me too. I'd love to spend a lot of time working up the chasmosaurines for the last 10 Ma of the Cretaceous, but it's not going to happen this semester (and probably not next).

So many skeletals, so little time :(
DovahsaurPaleoKnight's avatar
That is okay. Do not worry.
rujiidragon's avatar
rujiidragonStudent General Artist
Hey Scott! I Absolutely love your skeletal drawings! I wanted to ask you, when doing these where are you getting your references? Some of the dinosaurs I'll look up and the only refs I find to draw them are your skeletal drawings. So I always wondered how you go about doing these. I also envy your ability to make such precise lineart. The spine ridges and ribs are so precise they make my eyes hurt! 
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Sorry about the pain they've caused you! Most of the time (including the Triceratops above) the reference is the original specimen itself, or when I can't see it and measure it in person, then extensive photographs of the specimen. 

Sometimes I have to rely on published figures and descriptions in papers, but that's usually my last resort, as I can't control for parallax, errors in measurement, etc., as well as when I either gather the data myself, or know the person who sent me the data (and can do follow up questions with).
rujiidragon's avatar
rujiidragonStudent General Artist
Don't worry my eyes are ok! :) I meant that as a compliment for how precise your lineart was. 

I can't imagine drawing based on descriptions, especially with a drawing like this, getting proportions right is hard enough with photos! I applaud your commitment to accuracy! The only time I get to draw dinosaur skeletons are from photos so I'm really impressed you go the extra mile and see them yourself. Thank you for sharing!

If I may ask, have you ever had a project where you had no one to ask for more info on? 
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks for the kind words. I do work on projects all the time without outside help (at least going back to 1997), but science is a team sport and I greatly prefer to work with others - at the very least you usually need to get permission to enter collections, measure specimens on display etc., but working closely with other paleontologists also puts more eyes on the process, and it almost always leads to better initial results.
Archanubis's avatar
How much evidence is there for this and Torosaurus for/against being the same species?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
That's a hotly contested issue right now among paleos - I will say that the evidence for it is better than many on the interwebs seem to think, but not all of that is published, so for now I'll just say I'm leaning towards "yes" but am not totally convinced.
tyrantruler's avatar
tyrantrulerStudent Artist
These are very bulky animals. I like it.
Dinopithecus's avatar
Hello again Mr. Hartman, I once again seek your opinion on certain matter (since you're an authority in paleontology).

Just how dangerous could the beaks/bites of a ceratopsian be to say, a similar-sized adversary and how accurate are some people's descriptions of their capabilities?

Quite a number of people believe they could easily damage flesh and even bone with their most likely powerful bite forces and their sharp, hooked, shearing beaks to defend themselves against predators. People even compared them to extant animals like snapping turtles and parrots. Apparently, even some paleontologists believed these would be the main line of defense/more common in some ceratopsians (of course, those with horns that are ill-suited for defense).
anonymous's avatar
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