72 million years ago
Mean atmospheric O2
150% of modern level
Mean atmospheric CO2
6x pre-industrial level
4°C above modern level
Geologic Time Scale
A two ton, 20-foot-long centrosaurine ceratopsian dinosaur of the genus
Einiosaurus wanders a Cretaceous forest 72
million years ago in what is today northwestern Montana. Einiosaurus is believed to have
had a low, strongly forward-curving nasal horn resembling a can opener and a
pair of large spikes atop a relatively small frill.
Like the better known Triceratops, Einiosaurus 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.
© Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
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