The scientists, John Scannella and Jack Horner, believe that the Torosaurus and Triceratops are actually of the same species. According to the scientists, as a Triceratops aged, its horns and frill became more similar to that of a Torosaurus. Short becomes long, saw-edged becomes smoothed and so on. Having them be the same species would explain why there were never any young Torosaurus fossils discovered.
Scientists sure enjoy crushing my childhood memory of The Land Before Time (they nixed Brontosaurus a while back). Hopefully they won’t delete Triceratops too. [via New Scientist]
The duo say there is a clear transition from triceratops into torosaurus as the animals grow older. For example, the oldest specimens of triceratops show a marked thinning of the bone where torosaurus has holes, suggesting they are in the process of becoming fenestrated
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