USA, Hell Creek Formation, Montana, Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian period, 72.1 to 66 million years ago. A large vertebra from one of the most famous and charismatic of the dinosaurs. The Triceratops had three distinctive facial horns and a frill-like fan on the back of the head. In life, these animals grew to over twenty feet long and could weigh over 10,000 pounds.
Their remains have been found throughout the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Colorado; this particular example comes from private land near one of the most famous and fossil-dense find areas known from the Cretaceous period, the Hell Creek Formation, composed of various clays, mudstones, and sandstones. Here, over fifty unique Triceratops specimens have been found, alongside other famous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus. This specimen nicely shows the pleurocoel, hollow depressions on the lateral portions of vertebrae that decreased the weight of the bones in life without sacrificing strength. Paleontologists believe that they were filled with air sacs, and that, altogether in a full spinal column, may have reduced the weight of the animal by almost a ton! Size: 14" L x 12.5" W (35.6 cm x 31.8 cm); 17.25" H (43.8 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: ex-Tucson, Arizona, USA collection, acquired on private land in Montana
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