Dinosaur: Getting to Know the Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus is a fascinating dinosaur which unfortunately doesn’t necessarily have that much of a name recognition. I actually asked a few individuals what they thought of this dino, as I understood that they had an interest in dinosaurs or at the least, perhaps I should say an interest in dinosaur films. To my disappointment they hadn’t actually heard of them and ended up asking me what they looked like and what they ate.

Strya, as were now going to refer to them, was a smallish dinosaur when compared to the usual household names such as T-Rex or Triceratops. Measuring around 18 feet in length they were not very tall at the shoulder. Living in the late Cretaceous period, around 77 million to 73 million years ago, Styra fossils have been found mainly in Alberta and Montana.

Styra was quite something to look at, some might say a smaller version of the Triceratops in some respects, but perhaps a little more elaborate. This was truly a horned dinosaur and they had an elongated skull that was very pointy at the front and which had a distinctive neck frill. The neck frill had large tapering spikes to provide the dinosaur with a slightly menacing look, which may well have been what the frill was designed for or courtship.

The reality was that Strya was a plant-eater and on its best day would have only weighed around two to three tons, which in dino speak wasn’t that large compared to the giant predators that were lurking around at that time, such as Albertosaurus or Daspletosaurus. Due to the number of fossils that have been recovered, experts believe that there were good numbers of Strya’s, so they must have survived reasonably well against these large meat-eaters.

Styra came in various versions, or species if we’re being technically correct. Some examples of this were Styracosaurus Makeil which had a forward, downward nasal horn and Styracosaurus Ovatus which was based on the posterior portion of the crest.

Experts believe that Styra, who was an egg laying dinosaur, was a herding creature. This theory is supported by the fact that large deposits of fossils have been found together with different age ranges suggesting they were family members.

There aren’t many other details on this dinosaur, however if you look around the internet there are some brilliant illustrations which can also be found in some Dinosaur Books. Toy brands such as Papo have created a beautiful model which really shows this creature at its best.


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