Pachyrhinosaurus

a rhinoceros walks through tall grass
 
a computer image of a pachyrhinosaurus
   

   

Ceratopsia is Greek for “horned faces”. This group of beaked dinosaurs included many members that had horns and frills (the famous Triceratops for example). The name Pachyrhinosaurus is derived from Greek roots meaning “thick-nosed lizard” and perotorum is for politician and businessman H. Ross Perot and his family in honor of their I was huge and bulky like a modern rhinoceros, only a little bigger. I financial contributions to science education.

Identification level: Species

The ceratopsian tracks in Denali are thought to be associated with the species Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum. This is based largely on Denali’s geographical proximity to fossil sites spread between the North Slope of Alaska where P. perotorum fossils are known, and Alberta, Canada where skeletons of other Pachyrhinosaurus species have been found. P. perotorum is the only Late Cretaceous ceratopsian that has been found in Alaska, and the size and foot shape match between the North Slope skeletons and the Denali footprints.
 
fossilized ceratopsian track
What is for dinner?
Ceratopsian beaks and strong cheek teeth were perfect for breaking off and grinding up tough plants. These animals flourished at the same time that flowering plants were beginning to take root in Cretaceous time.

How do we know I lived in Denali?
Over a dozen ceratopsian tracks have been found in Denali. While rather blob-like in appearance, Denali’s ceratopsian tracks definitively match the signature broad, four-toed prints preserved in ceratopsian tracks worldwide.
 
a size comparison that shows a pachyrhinosaur would be about a foot taller than an average man
How do I size up? -

This dinosaur was the size of a large pickup truck. With horns and weighing a massive four tons, Pachyrhinosaurus would not make a good transportation alternative!

Fun fact
The multiple tracks found in Denali support the idea that Pachyrhinosaurus traveled in herds. Bonebeds have been found from Alberta, Canada to the North Slope of Alaska.

Last updated: August 18, 2016

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Denali Park, AK 99755

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