Dracorex

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Dracorex

Dracorex (Dray-coe-reks) hogwartsia, Dragon King, lived in the Late Cretaceous of North America. The species name is derived from the wizard’s school in the Harry Potter novels. It may be an early growth stage of Pachycephalosaurus.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References



Genera and Species

Classification: Marginocephalia, Pachycephalosauridae.

Species: D. hogwartsia



Characteristics

Dracorex is a flat headed pachycephalosaurs, it has no dome. It most resembles Stygimoloch, with 4 shorter head spikes rather than the 3 longer ones associated with Stygimoloch skulls. Traditionally pachycephalosaurs are divided into the dome headed and the flat headed. Some authorities consider the flat headed to be the immature and female examples of the dome headed group. The tooth rows are short and the teeth small. The hands have five grasping fingers with blunt claws. The legs have four toes with blunt claws.


Size

LENGTH: 8 - 9 m (24 - 30 ft).

WEIGHT: 6 tons.


Behavior

The elaborately decorated skull could have been used in flank butting rituals by competing males. The high speed head ramming originally proposed for pachycephalosaurs is unlikely as the skull material would not have protected the brain from the impact. Pachycephalosaurs are fully bipedal. The stiffen tail is a sign of an animal designed for speed so the preferred defense was running but head butting is possible.


History of Discovery

Discovered by Bakker, Sullivan, Porter, Larson and Saulsbury, 2006, known from a skull.


Paleoenvironment

Seems to have lived in upland areas of western North America.


References

1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 5750). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 826). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.