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Triceratops by ScottHartman Triceratops by 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.
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:iconilikeurpaleoart:
ILikeUrPaleoArt Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2018
What does WDC mean?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Wyoming Dinosaur Center.
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:iconnestiebot:
NestieBot Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2017
Love him. :D
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:icongenewm:
genewm Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2016
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.
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:icondovahsaurpaleoknight:
DovahsaurPaleoKnight Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2016
I would love to see you make a T. prorsus
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:iconowlbaskingshark:
Owlbaskingshark Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Same here.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2016  Professional 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 :(
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:icondovahsaurpaleoknight:
DovahsaurPaleoKnight Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2016
That is okay. Do not worry.
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:iconrujiidragon:
rujiidragon Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Student 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! 
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional 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).
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:iconrujiidragon:
rujiidragon Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Student 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? 
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2016  Professional 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.
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:iconarchanubis:
Archanubis Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
How much evidence is there for this and Torosaurus for/against being the same species?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016  Professional 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.
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:icontyrantruler:
tyrantruler Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Student Artist
These are very bulky animals. I like it.
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:icondinopithecus:
Dinopithecus Featured By Owner Edited Jan 3, 2015
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).
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
A parrot can easily nip flesh off your finger, and an eagle even more so. With the size and surprisingly sharp hooked beaks and the muscle power of a 6-10 foot long skull I'd think flesh and bone would be very plausible in these guys. In some ceratopsians like Pachyrhinosaurus and protoceratopsians the beaks pretty much had to be the main form of defense when cornered. In other taxa like Triceratops the horns may have been more dangerous, but I'd think a quick bite would probably have served the animal well if any part of a theropod (or rival) got close enough.
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:iconcindyworks:
CindyWorks Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
It is my favourite dinosaur, he's so magnificent, I love its anatomy
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:iconpedrosalas:
PedroSalas Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
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:iconjdailey1991:
Jdailey1991 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014
Why isn't the tail horizontal in this picture?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Because the sacrum clearly directs the tail downwards in Triceratops.
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:iconraptorzesty:
Raptorzesty Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would argue one could say the same for Brachiosaurus, however we know that not to be true. I take issue with this reconstruction and argue the center of gravity is is too close to the skull causing a off-balance. I recognize Triceratops forelimbs were heavily reinforced for potential this reason. But I wait for your counter-argument.   
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You're right, the pelvis is oriented somewhat downward in Brachiosaurus, though it seems to bevel up at the posterior end, and in relatives like Giraffatitan with good caudal series we can see that the anterior tail series arches up until the tail is more or less horizontal. In Triceratops the pelvis actually seems to flex downward, the posterior end isn't bevelled up, and the caudals do not arch up. 

It's interesting, because in many ceratopsians the tail does emerge closer to horizontal. With a tail that curves down the caudofemoralis has greater initial leverage when retracting the hind legs, but sacrifices speed of retraction...and maybe that is the answer here, that Triceratops was large enough that top speed wasn't as much of a concern as maximum force (e.g. for intraspecific shoving matches, or fending off giant tyrannosaurs).
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:iconraptorzesty:
Raptorzesty Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would assume being able to achieve greater speed would be more beneficial. After all, not every fight will end in a fatality, and sometimes when piercing a Tyrannosaurus or a rival it will be statistically beneficial to be able to run away. Then there is the argument of biological arms race equalizing as to not make a super herbivore or predator that would create ecological disaster. Maybe that is at play here. A Triceratops is a very dangerous creature, and giving it the ability to run and kill anything instantly would lead to a even dangerous Tyrannosaur or hell, maybe a even dangerous dromaesaur. 

Am I off base? I don't think evolution would select a advantage in instantaneous ramming speed over charging and plowing any potential predator.  
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
So the mistake you are making is that you are letting the theoretical tail walk the empirical dog here - that is, you have created a reasonable sounding hypothesis, but are then trying to rationalize away data that doesn't agree with it. The bones suggest that Triceratops is simply not as fast as some of its smaller ceratopsian brethren, but it does appear to have great power available in the legs. We have to try and figure out why it was built that way.
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:iconraptorzesty:
Raptorzesty Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I don't disagree with the evidence. I just wonder why.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Maybe T. rex wasn't as fast as earlier (and smaller) tyrannosaurs also, so power outweighed speed as a selective pressure? Or maybe there's actually a biological limit effect that forced the tradeoff. Or maybe intraspecies interactions were more important than predator/prey ones and that favored power over speed?
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(1 Reply)
:iconornitholestes1:
Ornitholestes1 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just wondering, which would be closer to midline of the body in ceratopsians: the ribs or the distal end of the prepubic process?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Greg Paul claimed that the distal end of the last ribs were in contact (or nearly so) with the end of the prepubic process. I've mounted a few ceratopsians and I can't confirm that. Either way the prepubis process can't end outside of the ribs.
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:iconornitholestes1:
Ornitholestes1 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! I was just wondering because I was looking at a ceratopsian mount and noticed that the prepubic process was inside the ribcage, which was different from all the skeletals I've seen.
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:iconmesozoic0906:
Mesozoic0906 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013

I think this is kind of weird question, but It is quite hard for me to imagine them moving "fast." Same goes for hadrosaurid.

 

What is your idea about their locomotion when they are fleeing from tyrannosaurs?

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:iconali-radicali:
Ali-Radicali Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
For a modern analogy, take Rhinos, Hippos or Elephants for example: they might not be as fast as a lion or cheetah, but they are capable of top speeds far greater than you'd expect from such bulky creatures. Furthermore, like many large herbivores of today, ceratopsids' primary defense wasn't speed, but rather their bulk, horns and (probably) herd behaviour, which served as a deterrent to attacks by predators. You don't need to be fast if you're not on the menu.
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:icontrisarahtopsart:
trisarahtopsart Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Triceratops are my favorite too if you couldn't tell. I quite enjoy this. Great job!
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:iconruleroflions:
RulerOfLions Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Is this drawing based off an adolescent or an adult specimen, because I know adults have forward-curving brow horns and no frill spikes?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's an "adult" specimen but probably not a very old one, so the horns have yet to curve down as much (you can see at the base of the brow horn that is has begun to).
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:icontyrannosaurusprime:
TyrannosaurusPrime Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Just asking for fun, is the Triceratops in Dinosaur Revolution T. horridus or T. prorsus?:confused: They look more like T. horridus to me, but I'd like to get a confirmation.:)
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It does look quite like horridus, but honestly I don't know if they were thinking about the species differences when that was modeled (it was one of the first).
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:icontyrannosaurusprime:
TyrannosaurusPrime Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Ok thanks.:)
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:iconshinyaquablueribbon:
ShinyAquaBlueRibbon Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Student General Artist
What changes in their body proportions when they get older?
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:iconthediremoose:
thediremoose Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012
What do you think of the whole "Torosaurus-is-Triceratops" controversy that's been going on lately?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I think the torosaurus is triceratops camp is more right; I'm not sure what to make of T. utahensis yet, but at SVP they showed that juvenile triceratops, "adult" triceratops, and torosaurus showed the same changes across the Maastrichtian, which I think nicely closes the door on Torosaurus truly being a different animal across the board.

Also, good reason to think Anchicecratops --> Triceratops.
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:iconeriorguez:
Eriorguez Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
We are so used to think of those guys as perfectly fine examples of the average dinosaur that we overlook the fact that they have modified the ancestral bodyplan to a degree comparable, or even surpassing that of birds.

And them hands and feet need to get into the heads of most people; elephant stuff just no longer makes the cut...
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Agreed - horned dinosaur hands and feet are nothing like elephants at all!
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:icondinolover09:
DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The only thing I don't like is I think the neck is a bit too long.
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That's how long the neck is on the WDC specimen; I measured it myself.
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:icondinolover09:
DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you say so.
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:iconsapiens89:
sapiens89 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
hello, excuse me, I have a question, the horns of dinosaurs were probably covered with keratin, the triceratops on top, you add the keratin?
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:iconscotthartman:
ScottHartman Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, the black silhouette that extends beyond the white bone is the keratin around the horns.
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:iconsapiens89:
sapiens89 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
formidable!
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Submitted on
January 9, 2008
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