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One of the Tyrannosaurus principle sources of prey are these bulky Torosaurus, the magnificent, majestic bull of the prehistoric period. In the Late Cretaceous, herds of horned herbivores like these were very common...and attracted many predators.
— Allen, on Torosaurus

Torosaurus (tor-o-saw-us; name meaning "Piercing Lizard") is a genus of bulky herbivorous chasmosaurine ceratopsian dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. It was related to, and in fact, almost identical to Triceratops, but at about 7–8 meters in length and weighing an estimated 6–7 tons in weight, Torosaurus was slightly smaller and lighter than Triceratops.  

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Torosaurus lived in western North American during the Late Cretaceous period from 70–65 million years ago. It lived alongside dinosaurs like Edmontosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Late Cretaceous mammals. It was also often hunted by Dromaeosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex as a principle source of food. It died out with all other dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous. Two years after the naming and discovery of Triceratops, Torosaurus was first discovered in 1891 by Othniel Charles Marsh.

Physical AttributesEdit

Torosaurus

Known for being the majestic bulls of the Late Cretaceous period, Torosaurus was the second largest member of the ceratopsian family, after Triceratops. It measured about 25–27 feet (7.7–8.5 m) in length, stood 7–8 feet (2.2–2.5 m) tall, and weighing an estimated 6–7 tons (12,000–14,000 lbs.)

Torosaurus had a similar stance to that of a rhinoceros. With its formidable horns and powerful, muscular body, Torosaurus was like a dinosaur version of a rhinoceros. It featured a large, enormous bony neck frill with large fenestration, or horns, which were used for display, Torosaurus had the largest skull of any terrestrial animal. The bony frill had large fenestrae, or holes, to reduce weight and may have been brightly coloured and used for display. Apart from the large frill, Torosaurus was similar in appearance to its close relative, Triceratops. Torosaurus had two, large, long horns sprouting above the eyes with a smaller horn on the snout. They used their sharp beaks and rows of shearing teeth to munch tough vegetation.

Fossilized footprints identified as ceratopsian track-ways indicate that the forelegs were slightly splayed, with the hind legs straight under the body, similar to a rhinoceros.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

Like all herbivores and ceratopsian dinosaurs, Torosaurus lived and traveled in herds and preferred to live in inland, dry forest instead of coastal swamps. Surprisingly, Torosaurus were relatively sociable dinosaurs – one of the kinds of dinosaurs that liked to live in herds, however they were sociable up to a point. The dominant males were very territorial, as they could dominate their herds for decades and were masters of their turfs.

During the rutting season, to display, the males flushed blood into their crests, creating vivid patterns, similar to how a Stegosaurus flushed blood into their plates. A Torosaurus's huge crest is their reproductive display. For the males, their horns and crest earn them status.

Torosaurus in fight

Torosaurus against Torosaurus

With massive heads and safety in herds, not much on Earth that could threaten Torosaurus, except not just Tyrannosaurus rex, but also another Torosaurus. For Torosaurus, these displays on their frills were designed to avoid physical contact. With one-meter long horns, fighting could easily result in bad injuries. The best and brightest displayed crest was usually all that was needed to settle arguments. Occasionally, showing off was not always enough, and although fighting was usually a last resort for a Torosaurus, the males resorted to brute force. And in the end, it was the male with the biggest head that won.

Often in Torosaurus fights, youth triumphed over experience. When younger male Torosaurus reached a certain age in adult hood, at the very least maturity, they would challenge the older males authority as leader of the herd. And if younger Torosaurus won in fighting against older and more experienced male Torosaurs, the old male would therefore not only have lost, but would also surrender to his younger opponent: Little Torosaurus.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The sound effects of Torosaurus are that of a bull and cow.