Dinosaur news

Remember how the Triceratops was just a juvenile form of a Torosaurus? Well, at least one scientist disagrees!

Among the fossil set that John Scannella and Jack Horner examined to combine the two species is a skull that they say is a transitional stage between Triceratops and Torosaurus. The skull was previously called Nedoceratops, yet another species.

But when Andrew Farke of the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, California analysed the fossils in detail, he concluded that Nedoceratops was a distinct genera. In PLoS ONE, he reports that for the three genera to be different growth stages of a single dinosaur, “would require cranial changes otherwise unknown” in horned dinosaurs.

Also, even if Scannella and Horner are eventually judged to be correct, and Triceratops, Torosaurus, and Nedoceratops are all really the same creature, because of naming conventions, that species would be known as the Triceratops, since that was the first name applied to any of them.

In other news about dinosaur species, it turns out the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are probably not Velociraptors. They’re too big and are instead Deinonychuses. It seems that Michael Crichton read a 1988 book that had decided — contrary to the greater Paleontology community — that the Velociraptor was the same species as the larger Deinychus.

Via Boing Boing and also Boing Boing.

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