Dinosaurs Named After their Heads III

When it comes to an impressive head, the popular Triceratops is one for the record books. Not only does it hold a record for its skull, but it also possesses interesting facial characteristics. In this article, you will learn more about prehistoric creatures that earned their names because of distinct head features.


The naming of the Pachyrhinosaurus pays homage to the characteristics of the lizard’s nose (‘rhino’), which was thick. In 1950, paleontologist Charles M. Sternberg gave an identity to the creature that lived during the late Cretaceous period ”“ about 72 to 68 million years ago. The dinosaur had a short frill with many small horns decorating the middle of this feature. Some researchers believe that the creature may or may not have had a snout-like horn, but what is known is that it had a large bony bump on its nose. Fossils of the plant eater have been found in Alberta, Canada, and Alaska in the United States, which include 12 partial skulls and an assortment of bones.


One of the most well-known of dinosaurs is the Triceratops, which is named for the three horns that grew from its head. Because of the horns, the dinosaur resembled the rhinoceros that you see at the local zoo today. It is likely that the Triceratops also used the same kind of defense as the modern-day rhino ”“ charging any threats that get in its way. The first Triceratops skill was discovered in 1888 by John Bell Hatcher.

Four sturdy legs held up the Triceratops as it walked. In addition to the short horn short horn above its parrot-like beak and two longer horns situated above the eyes, the dinosaur was also equipped with a large bony plate that projected from the back of its skull. This feature is called a frill. The horns are thought to have served a purpose during their mating rituals as well as rivalries with others. The Triceratops head was massive and possessed one of the largest skulls of any land animal that has ever been discovered ”“ measuring up to 10 feet long. The head was actually 1/3 as long as the rest of its body.

The Triceratops was a plant eater that most likely dined on cycads and other low-lying plants. Using its tough beak, the dinosaur chewed its food well using cheek teeth. The majority of Triceratop fossils that have been uncovered are mostly located in the western parts of Canada and the United States. The famed paleontologist Othniel Marsh named the Triceratops in 1889 ”“ using a fossil located close to Denver, Colorado. At first, the fossil was actually mistaken for an extinct species of buffalo.

Another dinosaur that was named for the number of horns that it had on its head was the Pentaceratops, which had five horns coming out of its face ”“ two above the eyes, two on the cheek bone, and one situated on the snout.