Pachycephalosaurus, skull dome
Pachycephalosaurus, skull dome
Pachycephalosaurus, skull dome
Pachycephalosaurus, skull dome
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Pachycephalosaurus, skull dome

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Pachycephalosaurus, meaning "thick-headed lizard," is a genus of pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs. The type species, P. wyomingensis, is the only known species. It lived during the Late Cretaceous Period (Maastrichtian stage) of what is now North America. Remains have been excavated in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It was an herbivorous creature which is primarily known from a single skull and a few extremely thick skull roofs, though more complete fossils have been found in recent years. Pachycephalosaurus was one of the last non-avian dinosaurs before the Cretaceous extinction event.

Like other pachycephalosaurids, Pachycephalosaurus was a bipedal herbivore with an extremely thick skull roof. It possessed long hindlimbs and small forelimbs. Pachycephalosaurus is the largest known pachycephalosaur.

The thick skull domes of Pachycephalosaurus and related genera gave rise to the hypothesis that pachycephalosaurs used their skulls in intra-species combat. This hypothesis has been disputed in recent years. Some skull domes have been up to 10 inches thick. The one presented here is 5.5 inches thick but is missing some of the underside of the dome.

It has been estimated that Pachycephalosaurus was about 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) long and weighed about 450 kilograms (990 pounds). ]Based on other pachycephalosaurids, it probably had a fairly short, thick neck, short fore limbs, a bulky body, long hind legs and a heavy tail, which was likely held rigid by ossified tendons.
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