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Build & Characteristics

  • Pachyrhinosaurus, meaning “thick-nosed lizard”, was a ceratopsid dinosaur like the Triceratops.
  • The largest species were 26 feet long (8 meters) and could weigh over 8000 pounds (4 tons).
  • Instead of horns, their skulls had massive, flattened growths: a large one over the nose and a smaller one over the eyes; and a prominent pair of horns grew from the frill and extended upwards.
  • They were herbivores and possessed strong cheek teeth to help them chew tough, fibrous plants much like modern day cows.
  • Even though it shares a similar name to the modern rhinos, the two creatures are not related.
  • Paleontologists believe they Pachyrhinosaurus used its thick nose to butt one another around for dominance much like modern day rhinos.
  • History


  • Lived in the late Cretaceous period of North America (70 million years ago).
  • The environment that they lived was probably woodlands that were bounded by mountains to the west and included water channels that flowed into freshwater ponds, streams, and floodplains.


  • Fossilized skeletons were found in Alaska and Alberta, Canada in 1946 and named in 1950.
  • Due to so many partial skulls and a large assortment of other fossils they weren’t available to study until the 1980s
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