Dinosaurs - Triceratops

Triceratops (Try-sera-tops) is, perhaps, the most famous of the horned (ceratopsian) dinosaurs. It lived at the very end of the Cretaceous Period and, thus, was one of the very last dinosaurs. Triceratops means "three horned face" referencing the three prominent horns on the skull: two large ones over the eyes and a much smaller horn on the nose. The neck frill on Triceratops was short compared to some other members of the horned dinosaur group and lacked the characteristic large window-like openings. Hence, the frill formed a solid, shield-like structure.


Triceratops lived in western North America, fossils having been found in Wyoming, Montana, and Alberta. It was the largest ceratopsian dinosaur being 25 feet in length and standing approximately 6 feet high at the shoulder. The skull, itself, was 7 feet long! Triceratops bones are fairly common, although complete skeletons are rare.

Triceratops may have been a somewhat contentious creature. Skulls have been found with puncture wounds, presumably inflicted by the horns of a rival Triceratops, and one skull is known where a brow horn had been broken and healed.

There is a great deal of variation in Triceratops skulls and, at one time, 16 different species had been recognized. It is now believed, however, that there was probably only one or two legitimate species.

Interesting Facts About Triceratops