Triceratops Dinosaur History
According to the research conducted in recent years, Zuniceratops are understood to be the oldest ceratopsians. Another ceratopsian, the Yinlong was described in 2005. It was declared the first ceratopsian dinosaur of the Jurassic period. Until 1990, Protoceratops were considered the only ancestors of Triceratops.
Along with parrot-like beaks, Triceratops had teeth which they used for chewing food. Their digestive system made use of bacteria in the process of digestion. Being herbivores, they primarily feasted on palm fronds and cycads.
The first skeletal specimen of this genus was discovered in 1887, near Denver. Othniel Charles Marsh, who studied the fossil, initially confused it with a bison's fossil. In 1888, with the discovery of a similar fossil in the 'Lance Formation' creek, Mr. Marsh accepted the previously discovered fossil as that of a ceratopsian and named it Triceratops.
More fossils were eventually found in South Dakota and Montana in the United States and the Saskatchewan and Alberts provinces of Canada. Till the year 1905, not a single, complete skeleton of Triceratops was discovered. On March 9, 1913, people thronged the Natural History Museum in Paris to see the Triceratops fossil that was found in the Rocky mountains.
It was earlier believed that Triceratops lived a solitary life. However, recent studies show that they lived in groups. The evidence that was found by Stephen Brusatte, a student from the Columbia University, reinforces the fact. Brusatte along with his colleagues, found three Triceratops fossils near the southeastern parts of Montana.
Many skeletons of Triceratops are preserved in paleontology museums the world over. They need to be conserved for future studies and research activities (archeology) pertaining to this wonderful creature of the past.