Stygimoloch spinifer

  • Pronounced:  Stig - ee - Moe - lok

  • Diet:  Omnivore ( Meat &Plant-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Styx Moloch" (mythology)

  • Length:  10 feet (3 m)

  • Height:  5 feet (1.8 m)

  • Weight:  440 pounds (200 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Cretaceous - 70 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Western U.S

A member of the same family that includes the better-known Pachycephalosaurus  , this dinosaur was smaller and had a skull that wasn't quite as thick. In 1995, fossil hunter Mike Triebold found a complete skeleton of this fascinating dinosaur. This was a remarkable find as before his discovery, no member of the pachycephalosaur family had been discovered with both the head and body together. His find showed that this dinosaur could never have butted heads like many had thought. If it did, it would probably have broken its neck!

The ring of horns that encircled its thick skull was probably used for display and it may have been used as a club for hitting others of its own kind during courtship. It is not likely that it could have been used as a serious weapon.

Stygimoloch is an interesting dinosaur for a number of reasons. Although it lived in the late Cretaceous, it had a number of primitive characteristics. It had five fingers, it had teeth similar to Stegosaurus  in the back of its mouth, but the front was filled with sharp incisors similar to a carnivore.

Stygimoloch was originally discovered in the late 1800s, but almost 100 years would pass from the discovery of the first fossil elements to the discovery of the definitive specimen by Triebold in 1995. In between, all of the remains that had been found were misidentified as those from a Pachycephalosaurus  In fact, even Triebold's specimen was initially misidentified as Pachycephalosaurus.

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