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Location
 Alberta, Canada
 77 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 150% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 6x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 4C above modern level

Mesozoic Earth - An Albertaceratops wanders a Cretaceous forest 77 million years ago in what is today Alberta, Canada; herbivores; cerapods; ceratopsidae; ceratopsids; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Campanian stage - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Mesozoic
  Period: Cretaceous
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Campanian

     
 

Colorful Albertaceratops

A 20-foot-long centrosaurine horned dinosaur of the genus Albertaceratops wanders a Cretaceous forest 77 million years ago in what is today Alberta, Canada.

Like the better known Triceratops, Albertaceratops was a ceratopsid, a family of large four-legged plant-eating dinosaurs characterized by beaks, rows of shearing teeth in the back of the jaw, and elaborate horns and frills. While they resemble defensive shields, the frills are in fact relatively fragile, suggesting that they may have served a purpose other than protecting against a brute force attack. One possibility is that the frills were employed as visual displays in order to intimidate rivals and attract the opposite sex. While no color pigmentation has been preserved in the fossil remains of ceratopsids, it's not unreasonable to suggest that they may have been very colorful, like many reptiles and birds today.

 

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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