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Museum of Geology & Natural History,

Dinosaurs: Triceratops

Triceratops lived in western North America during the late Cretaceous. It was a large herbivore: up to 30 feet long and 10 feet high at the hip, weighed as much as 12 tons, and had a massive three-horned, 7-foot long head. The replica skull in the WVGES Museum is 6.5 feet long and 5 feet wide. New studies suggest that the entire head of Triceratops was covered in keratin, a material similar to fingernails and bird beaks. The original skull was found in South Dakota. The sedimentary rocks in West Virginia are too old to contain dinosaur remains.
Triceratops is one of the best known dinosaurs to the public. It lived alongside Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) during the late Cretaceous period at about 67 to 65 million years ago. Triceratops was a plant eater that probably traveled in herds and was no doubt a frequent meal of T. rex because many bones have been found with large bite marks. Triceratops would have been a truly impressive site with a skull over 7 feet long and 3 foot horns. It was up to 30 feet long, 10 feet tall at the hip, and weighed up to 12 tons.
The life-size replica of a Triceratops skull in the WVGES Museum is a gift from museum curator, Ray Garton, and his wife Mary Ellen. The skull is 7 feet long, 4 feet high, and 5 feet wide. It was cast from an original skull found in Wyoming, USA. Only the tips of the brow horns were missing and had to be reconstructed.
Triceratops, skull (right side) skull (right side)
Triceratops, skull (right side close-up) skull (right side close-up)
Triceratops, skull (left side with museum curator in background) skull (left side with museum curator in background)
Triceratops, skull (front) skull (front)
Museum Curator: E. Ray Garton:
Page last revised January 20, 2022.
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WVGES address   WV Geological & Economic Survey
1 Mont Chateau Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
Phone: (304) 594-2331
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