Rooted Triceratops Dinosaur Tooth

Triceratops sp

Clade Dinosauria, Order Ornithischia, Suborder Theropoda, Superfamily Ceratopsoidea, Family Ceratopsidae

Geological Time: Late Cretaceous

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Dinosaur tooth 17 mm tall, 15 mm across, with 32 mm root (maximum measurements)

Fossil Site: Hell Creek Formation, Perkins County, South Dakota

Code: HCF02

Price: Sold

Triceratops ToothDescription: This fossil comes from the twilight of the dinosaurs, the Hell Creek Formation. It is a rooted tooth of Triceratops, the ceratopsian best known to the general public. Its name means “three horned face” an allusion to the long orbital horns and the nasal horn. It has often been shown in combat with Tyrannosaurus rex (as in the Field Museum’s mural by Charles R. Knight), but the horns were most likely used as sexual display features to females or in threat displays and possibly ritual combat with other males. A pair of brow horns attached to the skull roof was found in 1887 and named by O.C. Marsh as Bison alticornis because he thought it belonged to an extinct bison, thus dispelling the notion that only E.D. Cope was capable of incorrectly assigning specimens (Marsh was only off by some 66 million years in age as well). At up to 9 meters in length and some 12,000 kg, this was one of the most formidable denizens of the terminal Cretaceous. Unlike several other ceratopsians, remains, while frequently discovered, have never been found in bonebeds that would indicate that they were not necessarily herding animals. Unlike the teeth colloquially termed “spitters” this is not a shed tooth but instead one with an associated root, far less commonly seen on offer.

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