|Name Meaning:||Roof Horn|
|Distribution:||Canada, western USA|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 75 Ma|
|Length:||6.5 ft (2 m)|
|Height:||7 ft (2 m)|
The Stegoceras was first discovered on the Judith River wedge, on the east side of the Red Deer River, in Alberta, Canada. It was named in 1902 by Lawrence Lambe. Unlike many pachycephalosaurids a nearly full skeleton of the Stegoceras has been discovered. At first the dinosaur was thought to be the same as the Troodon but they were later determined to be separate species.
The Stegoceras had a skull nearly 3 inches thick similar to other pachycephalosaurids. It had strong tendons that would solidify to bone making portions of the body very stiff, like the tail. It was assumed that the Stegoceras would lower its head, straighten the spine in order to headbutt other dinosaurs, probably another Stegoceras. However, recent study suggests that this was not the case and that the Stegoceras would "flank-butt" instead. Evidence supporting this includes the fact that none of the discovered skulls include significant scaring, and the round shape of the skull would have made it difficult to headbutt straight on. The skull would not have had much surface area and the blow would have just glanced off. Also the neck was most likely S- or U-shaped making it impossible to straighten it to support a headbutt.
ScienceViews Writer: Jason Hamilton.
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