One of the most popular dinosaur of all times, this one is definitely remembered for its striking and incredibly large skull that catches the eye at once. The name Pachycephalosaurs means a thick headed lizard, easily explaining its appearance. Pachycephalosaurs belongs to the genus Pachycephalosaurus and the Pachycephalosauridae family; phylum Chordata.
Before going further we would like to bring forward one of the least known facts that the Pachycephalosaurus is known only about its dome shaped skull because that was the only fossil found of its own. When you walk into a museum and see the full body frame of a Pachycephalosaurus you are made to believe that this is how it looked like back then. We are sorry to burst that myth as Pachycephalosaurus is the only dinosaur that has made rave only because of its surreal head fossil, the other parts of the fossil were never found.
Scientist and museum owners like to believe that their body structure was similar to that of every other dinosaur and thus convince us to believe their self-approved theory. Due to lack of evidence and substance of research we have nothing to prove that their body appeared any different and hence we believe the believed.
When the fossil is put together of a Pachycephalosaurus this is what the body may structure like. Pachycephalosaurus grows about 15 feet tall weighing up to 950 pounds that is 430 kgs. It had short forelimbs and long hind limbs. It was one of the slowest known species and it used its limbs to walk and run from a place to another. The body of a Pachycephalosaurus also sported a stiff tail that help it balance the weight and prevented it from falling. Sceientist have claimed that the fossils of Pachycephalosaurus could be marked to the period of creataceous period that existed about 76- 65 million years ago. This was the age of the reptiles' also known as Mesozoic age. Similar creatures that existed during this time were Albertosaurus and Troodon, Maiasaura, Tyrannosaurus rex, Ankylosaurus who was an armoured herbivore with a horn, Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, and Dryptosaurus .
Pachycephalosaurs must have probably evolved from Hypsilophodon, a small, agile, bipedal herbivore.
The fossils of Pachycephalosaurus were discovered in the year 1938 by William Winkley on the family ranch outside of Ekalaka, Montana, USA.
This dinosaur was further named as Pachycephalosaurus meaning thick headed lizard in the year 1943 by Barnum Brown and Erich M. Schlaikjer. As already discussed the entire fossil of a Pachycephalosaurus is a rare occurrence but a Pachycephalosaurus head fossil was discovered in parts of the world such as Alberta, Canada, the western United States, the Isle of Wight, Mongolia and Madagascar.
Pachycephalosaurus a commonly cited dinosaur in the Jurassic park, is a dinosaur that has a huge head that is unbelievably thick and inside lies a tiny brain. The hollows of the eye socket are filled with large eyes.
I would like to emphasise on the fact that all theories based on Pachycephalosaurus are subjective to discretion as nothing factual as a matter of evidence has been found to make actual sense out of it.
One of the most widely accepted theory about Pachycephalosaurus is that a Pachycephalosaurus is born with a flat head, and as it grows older the of the head changes and eventually becoming a dome shaped head indicating sexual maturity amongst mature adults.
Pachycephalosaurus is one of the largest known specie of the pachycephalosauridfamily.the large eyes in the hollow eye sockets have a remarkable vision. The stereoscopic vision has helped them to judge distance effectively also with high accuracy.
While understanding the fact that this dinosaur is a case of a more assumption based creature, scientist have categorised them under the herbivore category. To back up their claim they explain that the pachycephalosaurus has small rigged teeth that are not strong enough to chew fibrous plants unlike other dinosaurs of that time. Hence it is believed that pachycephalosaurus survived on mixed diet of leaves, seeds, fruit and insects. Thus making them a herbivorous dinosaur.
The size of the skull of a pachycephalosaurus is as tall as two feet or even more, the thick skull covering the brain is as thic k as 10 inches which is surprising as a human skull is only 6.5 or to the most 7 millimetres thick .
During the late 19th century when palaeontologist were just familiarising themselves with dinosaur fossils and bones a skull bone was excavated from deep earth. For long time scientist and palaeontologist believed that this was nothing but the knee cap of a dinosaur, post a lot of research and study the discovered two major revelations . First being dinosaurs unlike other animals are devoid of kneecaps and the other being that this bone was a part of the skull bone of pachycephalosaurus.
A new species of pachycephalosaurusthat was discovered in the year 2006 was named after the most renowned fiction of all times Harry potter. They named it Dracorexhogwartsia – after the famous harry potter series by J.K Rowling. A delight for all the Harry Potter fans.
The thick headed creature sustained in an environment where it could be attacked any moment, scientist subjected the head of a pachycephalosaurus to a CT scan and found many denture and deep scars on them. Thus proving that the skull was indeed thick and also it proved to be more of a protective use.
Apart from the protection it provided the thick skull also acted as a tool or a weapon to attack. Pachycephalosaurus were known to adopt the same fighting method as that of a giraffe. When they sense an enemy in their close proximity they slam their heads against theirs and flanks its predator or enemy.
We hope that palaeontologist and scientist soon discover the remains of this incredible Pachycephalosaurus as we cannot wait to know how distinct they actually are from our imagination. Till then we can let ourselves believe that this is how they looked, lived and behaved back in time.