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  • Triceratops prorsus Tooth





    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Reptilia
    Order: Ornithischia
    Family: Ceratopsidae
    Genus: Triceratops
    Species: Triceratops prorsus
    Author Citation Marsh, 1889

    Geological Time Scale

    Eon: Phanerozoic
    Era: Mesozoic
    Period: Cretaceous
    Sub Period: None
    Epoch: Late
    International Age: Maastrichtian


    Hell Creek Formation


    Acquired by: Purchase/Trade


    Height: 3.5 cm


    Harding County
    South Dakota
    United States



    On the ranch where this tooth was found, only T. prorsus skulls have been found in the 30+ years the company has operated there, lending a very probable, precise identification for this Ceratopsian tooth. (T. prorsus was one of the last dinosaurs, younger than T. horridus. The two species are also stratigraphically separated in the Hell Creek Fm.[2], so it makes sense that one may only find one species in a particular deposit.) For most Ceratopsid teeth (from the Hell Creek Fm., for example), only association with an identifiable skull can allow for identification beyond Ceratopsidae indet. 


    This tooth is partially rooted with noticeable feeding wear on the crown (the flattened surface). It has some minor repair. The second image shows a close view of the enamel, which has good preservation. 

    Relevant Literature:

    1. MARSH, OTHNIEL C., 1889. Notice of gigantic horned Dinosauria from the Cretaceous. The American Journal of Science, Series 3 38: 173-175.

    2. SCANNELLA, J. B.; FOWLER, D. W., 2009. Anagenesis in Triceratops: evidence from a newly resolved stratigraphic framework for the Hell Creek Formation. 9th North American Paleontological Convention Abstracts. Cincinnati Museum Center Scientific Contributions 3. pp. 148–149.

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