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Newly Discovered Texas Dinosaur Likely Engaged in Head-Butting Contests

PachycephalosaurusLike many fellow reptile and amphibian enthusiasts, I’m very interested in dinosaurs.  Happily, there have been many exciting new discoveries as of late…a beast recently christened Texacephale langstoni is a good case in point.

A New Hard-Headed Dinosaur

Years ago, most folks interested in dinosaurs were limited to gawking at fossils in museums. To be sure, these were fantastic, but modern study methods are now providing a glimpse at how these amazing creatures actually behaved.

Writing in the April, 2010 issue of Cretaceous Research, Yale University paleontologists theorize that a newly described Texas native probably rammed skulls with others of its kind, perhaps to establish dominance or mating rights.

The unique creature, related to the Pachycephalosaurs (please see drawing) but classified within its own genus, sported a rock-hard mass of bone atop its head.  This unusual growth, about the size of a softball, is similar to those found on only a dozen other dinosaur species.

More to Follow…

T. langstoni, which roamed the American Southwest 70-80 million years ago, was relatively small as dinosaurs go, weighing perhaps 40-50 pounds – I wonder if its “helmet” might have found use as a weapon of self-defense as well?

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon…until then, keep reading and please write in with any interesting stories you might come by.



Further Reading

Some amazing ancient reptiles inhabited the USA as well – please see my articles on giant, dinosaur–eating snakes and crocodiles.

You can learn more about the new head-ramming dinosaur on the Yale University website.
Pachycephalosaurus image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Keith Schengili-Roberts

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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