North America, late Cretaceous Period, ca. 68 to 66 million years ago. Wow! An incredible fossilized nose horn from a triceratops (Triceratops horridus), one of the most famous dinosaurs. First found just west of Denver, Colorado, in the town of Morrison, in 1887, by Arthur Lakes and named by Othniel Charles Marsh, these large horned animals were initially mistaken for a form of bison before they realized they represented a type of dinosaur known as a Ceratopsian. The triceratops skull was heavy and distinctive: with three horns, a parrot-like beak, and a frill that could reach three feet wide, it was one of the largest skulls known from any land animal. This horn is from the tip of the nose. Size: 5.05" W x 8" H (12.8 cm x 20.3 cm)
Interestingly, most horned animals travel in herds, but triceratops has been found more frequently in individual contexts. Puncture marks on the fossil frills of males of the species show that they used their horns to fight each other, with some paleontologists believing that this was done to impress females. Finds of blood vessels throughout the horns and frills of these animals suggest that they were not just weapons, but were also used for identification of individuals, much like the antlers and horns of modern species like reindeer and mountain goats. These horns grew throughout the life of the animal, especially in childhood and adolescence, along with the skull, which went from one foot long in babies to six feet long in adults. The horns on these babies were only about an inch long.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
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The peripheries have some small losses; otherwise in good condition with clear structure. A thin stabilizing coating is over the fossil to protect it.