Pachyrhinosaurus is also known as the thick nosed lizard existed 83.5-66 million years ago. The fossil of this dinosaur was discovered by Charles M. Sternberg in Alberta and Alaska, Canada, in the year 1946. Numerous specimens of this dinosaur were excavated. The type species is Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis and other species are P. lakustai and P. perotorum. This animal was a herbivore that mainly fed on plant life. It was quadrupedal, walking on four legs with a weak ability to fight. It had a rare unicorn-style horn, flat bony pad, and a skull frill. It was one of the very calm animals. Did you know paleontologists say that they had horn fights during which this dinosaur would roughly collide its head with that of the opponents?
Pachyrhinosaurus is pronounced as pack-ee-rine-oh-sore-us.
Pachyrhinosaurus is a type of horned ceratopsian dinosaur. All the dinosaurs of the ceratopsid group are herbivorous and quadrupedal. Some of the well-known examples of ceratopsian dinosaurs were Triceratops and Pentaceratops. This group has two subfamilies namely the Chasmosaurinae and Centrosaurinae. This dinosaur belonged to the Centrosaurinae which were mainly characterized by the well-developed nasal horns or nasal bosses, short rectangular frills, and elaborate spines
These dinosaurs roamed the earth between the Campanian Maastrichtian ages of the Late Cretaceous period. Campanian is the fifth stage and Maastrichtian is the uppermost stage of the late Cretaceous period. The name of this stage is derived from a region called La Grande Champagne at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne in northern France. The name of the latter was derived from a Dutch city called Maastricht.
It became extinct after the Maastrichtian age. The reason might be excessive hunting or natural causes like the cretaceous period mass extinction which resulted from a huge asteroid hit.
It lived in North America. The fossil of this dino has been found in places such as Alberta (Canada), Alaska, and Northwest Territories (Canada).
It probably inhabited places with lush vegetation and water sources. This dino might have occupied forests where the growth of cycads and palms was high. Phillip Currie, a professor at the University of Alberta said that these dinosaurs mostly followed coastal plains.
Like all other herbivores, this dinosaur also lived in groups. They had to stick together at all times as there was a high risk of them being hunted by predators. Some paleontologists state that the pack could have consisted of as many as 100 animals and several packs congregate together. This means thousands of Pahyrhinosaurus might have lived together.
Pachyrhinosaurus lived some 83.5-66 million years ago. Their estimated lifespan is around 45 years.
It was oviparous hence reproduced by laying eggs.
Pachyrhinosaurus is a large dinosaur species with short chunky legs. It had sharp cheek teeth that helped in cutting tough plant matters. The most distinguishing feature is its unicorn style flattened horns which were found right behind the eyes. It was quadrupedal, walking on four legs. The horn pair rose from a frill and faced upwards. The size of this frill varies from one individual to other and is slightly different between the sexes. There was a boy growth called the boss. In adults, the nasal boss was covered by a thick sheath. The Pachyrhinosaurus skull was blunt and rugged. The snout bone is also used in differentiating the species. P.canadensis, the type species, has a flat and rounded nose. P. lakustai had unicorn horns and P.perotorum had a dome shaped nose boss.
13 specimens of Pachyrhinosaurus were discovered from a bonebed consisting of around 3000 bones and a dozen of partial skulls. After a tough process, the bones have been identified and assigned to the particular species. However, it is not possible to compute the exact number of bones of the species. They might have had anywhere between 100-200 bones.
Faunal communication might have been used by this species. It might have produced a type of high to low pitched noises depending upon the situation. Most of them must have been hoots and growls. It probably used other body gestures especially the horns to attract opposite sexes.
Pachyrhinosaurus was a fairly large animal. Its length from head to tail was 16-26 ft (5-8 m) and it was 10 ft (3 m) tall. This dino is almost the same size as Majungasaurus.
They were rather slow. This is due to the chunky and not so powerful legs. Occasionally they might make attempts to move faster in which they succeeded rarely. This would have been a major drawback while escaping from predators and would have made them an easy target.
Pachyrhinosaurus was one of the heavy dinosaurs that weighed between 2.2-4.4 tons (2,000 – 4,000 kg).
Apart from minute differences like the frill size, there weren't many features suggesting the existence of sexual dimorphism in all other species except Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai. However, there are no special names assigned to the male and female species. They are collectively known as Pachyrhinosaurus.
Just like that male and female species the babies do not have any special names either. Similar to all other dinosaur babies they too can be referred to as chicks, nestlings, hatchlings, and juveniles.
It was a herbivorous animal whose diet mainly consisted of plant life. The strong sharp teeth helped them chew the tough plant matters easily. This aided in easy digestion. Paleontologists say that palms and cycads were the major portions of the diet. Their predators were large sized carnivorous dinosaurs that fed on herbivorous dinosaurs. The small size and sloppy movements and easily made them a target. Apart from that they were also not very powerful and could be very easily killed from behind. They were aggressive with predators however the level of violence was barely a match to that of the meat eater. Tyrannosaurid dinosaurs like Albertosaurus constantly hunted both the adults and juveniles of this species.
The level of aggressiveness depends upon the species around them. Pachyrhinosaurus is a perfect example of the common rule that herbivores are generally calm and less aggressive. Unlike meat eaters, they do not go around looking for opportunities to pick a fight. They are in their own space. But when provoked or disturbed they might have been violent. They are seen engaging in horn fights similar to the bulls however its is not very aggressive and is more like a fun sport.
Pachyrhinosaurus is closely related to the Styracosaurus.
If you take a look at a picture or sketch of the Pachyrhinosaurus it might not look real due to its extremely flattering features. However, it is a real dinosaur that existed in the Late Cretaceous period.
These dinosaurs were said to have large and bony protrusions however later studies revealed that the bony pad was actually flat.
Many of the dinosaur families have evolved into modern day birds.
A cast of the Pachyrhinosaurus skeleton is present at the Perot Museum.
An Asian elephant and a Pachyrhinosurus weighed the same.
The fossil of this dinosaur was discovered and named by Charles M. Sternberg in the year 1995. Pachyrhinosaurus is derived from Greek words pachy meaning thick, rhino meaning nose, and sauro meaning lizard. The name means thick-nosed lizard referring to its chunky nose.
Pachyrhinosaurus has two horns or a pair of horns. Unlike other Ceratopsians, their horn does not rise from the snout instead it rises from the frill on the skull. The horns are similar to the unicorn horns and are just behind the eyes.
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