Achelosaurus a medium sized Dinosaur belonged to the Ceratopsidae family. The phrase ''deceptive looks'' or '' judging a book by its cover'' befits the situation perfectly. This tough looking dinosaur is one of the most gentle dinosaurs of its time. The name achelousaurus is derived from the Greek word Achelous; that translates to a lizard in English. This name and dinosaur also have a mythological importance attached to it. According to Greek mythology Achelous was the name of the river goddesss of the Greeks, according to the myth Achelous was disarmed as Hercules tore one of the horns of Achelous during a mythological fight between them.
Dinosaurs belonging to the ceratopsid family such as Achelousarus belongs to the late cretaceous period, this dates back to 74 million years ago in North America. Their fossils were found sedimented in their whole form and it seemed not so long ago until their species got devastated. Achelousaurus was known as a quadrupedal herbivore that is a herbivorous creature that walked the earth on four limbs
The fossils of achelousarus were first discovered in the Two Medicine formation in United States, in a place called Montana. Excavated in the year 1987 by the scientist Jack Horner who was behind this major discovery. A two medicine structure is actually a massive rock structure in montana that holds importance as it has been the holy place of excarvation as it is the place where fossils of many dinosaurs such as Scolosaurus, Achelousaurus, Cerasinops, Troodon, along with many bivalves, turtles and lizards were dug out from.
For a very long time Achelousaurus found no place in the classification table that's because of its perplexing features spotted on its gigantic skull, in the year 1995 it finally found its place in the taxonomic tree, this was made possible by Scott Sampson.
The achelousaurus belongs to the ornithischaincatergory, dinosaurs under this segment are known as bird hipped dinosaurs. As discussed they belong to the Ceratopsidae family, Pachyrhinosaurini tribe and Pachyrostra clade. The classification of this dinosaur has been a matter of debate for decades now. There are two opinions one side where some scientist strongly believe that they belong to an intermediate species lying between Pachyrhinosaurus and the Einiosaurus. It is called an intermediate specie because Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur does not have a nasal horn while on the other side Einiosaurus does have one. While the other scientist completely disregarded the belief as they say that all three dinosaurs belong to different genus and cannot be put under one category.
All these speculations will only be put to rest if new evidences are found to back those claims until then achelousaurus will be treated as a separate specie.
The skull of the achelousarus is something to be talked about, found in Montana the skull spots a magnanimous look. This skull spots a large nasal bone and it gradually ends with a beak. The achelousaurus had ridges on its nose and it almost looked looked like a broken horn. One of the largest skull discovered was as big as 1.6 meters which is inclusive of the size of the horn.
Anachelousaurus belongs to ceratopsiancategory. These dinosaurs are medium sized and they walk on four legs to move from one place to another. One of the most unique feature they are characterized by is their horn on their face. They are known ceratopsian dinosaurs as ceratopsia in Greek means horned faces and also large beaks.
Currently these fossils are on a public display at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, which is located in Montana.
Commonly known as a medium sized dinosaur, an average achelousaurusweighed about 2000 to 4000 kilos and grew about 20 feet in height. This was definetly not as big of a size when compared to its peers
The most significant and distinguished feature of an achelousaurus is its head. The head a small but a very prominent nasal bone that resembles a broken horn. It also possess a fan like frill on the hind side of its head along with two large horns. These horns may or may not be of any use, they can be supposed sexual characters. These can also act as offensive and defensive tools when attacked by other species.
Similar to that of its other relative dinosaurs like the other ceratopsids, the Achelousaurus had legs that were short and stout in size.
To add on to all these physical features achelousaurus had a stout nose and a stout tail attached to the hind side of this body.
The achelousarus does look like a frightening dinosaurs raging to find its prey, but contrary to its deceiving looks achelousarus is a calm herbivore. The important source of its nourishment comes from low lying bushes and shrubs. The aggressive side of achelousaurus is rather unknown, charging like a rhinoceros of the modern day or just being calm and harmless was something that one couldn't decipher. This dinosaur was more likely to live in herds rather than being a lone ranger. All these claims are based on assumption and there are no evidence to back them up. It is also said that ceratopsids displayed signs of sexual dimorphism. They didn't have distinct male or female reproductory organs as their fossils didn't show any signs for the same.
The claim made that an achelosaurus used its horn for defence can also be challenged this is because practically when a achelousarus bends over to attack it will have to bend so low that it might not even be able to locate its predator. But this cannot be over looked as the chances of this happening are less likely but not impossible to do.
They tend to live in a greener environment, with low laying grass fields and meadows and a river and lakes flowing by the side. This gives them the convenience and access to their food and water for their survival. Their relative species is believed to be the Einiosaurus and the Pachyrhinosaurus.