Jun. 26th, 2014

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Ceratosaurus nasicornis is a late Cretaceous theropod from western North America. Discovered in 1884, its original describer felt that the unusually large (for a theropod, anyway) horns on its face were deadly weapons, in line with the general sentiment at the time that dinosaurs were absurdly brutish and violent compared to modern animals. Today, paleontologists feel that the horns might have been used in male-male combat over territory or females, or that possibly the horns were purely for display purposes. Males and females may have had differently-colored or differently-sized horns, or they may have been useful in species recognition, as Ceratosaurus was not the only large theropod in its habitat.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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