With its big, hockey puck-sized eyes, shortened face and nubby horns, it was probably as cute as a button - at least to its mother, a three-horned dinosaur called Triceratops that could weigh as much as 10 tons and had one of the largest skulls of any land animal on the planet.
An adult Triceratops skull, fully six feet long, dwarfs the foot-long skull of a year-old Triceratops (bottom left). The pair are on display in the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library in the Valley Life Sciences Building. (Photo by Steve McConnell/UC Berkeley NewsCenter)
This cast of the Triceratops skull shows characteristics — a shortened face and big eyes — that have made babies lovable throughout the ages. The sprouting horns grow to three feet in the adult, while the scalloped edges of the frill, which can grow to seven feet across, become more wavy and develop scales. (Photo by Mark Goodwin, UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology)
Visitors to the University of California, Berkeleys Valley Life Sciences Building now can judge for themselves. A cast of the foot-long skull from the youngest Triceratops fossil ever found is on display in the buildings Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library. The actual skull, also at UC Berkeley and in fragments, is described by campus paleontologist Mark Goodwin in the March issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Mounted in the librarys entryway, the diminutive skull, likely from a year-old, three-foot-long baby, is dwarfed by the more than six-foot-long skull of a mature Triceratops. Standing menacingly outside the librarys doors is a life-size cast of Triceratops nemesis, Tyrannosaurus rex.
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