Official Q&A thread of DPG's Paleontology Center

Hey there! If you have a question about Dinosaurs that no one’s been able to answer to your satisfaction, post it here. I will then do my best to give you an answer.

Hope to hear from you guys soon!


Good question, Angela!

The horned dinosaurs and their incredible variety of headgear is still something we don’t know everything about. In most species, such as Einiosaurus or Pachyrhinosaurus, this was probably mainly used for self-defense or mating display.

The best answer to your question, Angela, is this: The reason Einie’s “hood ornament” grows forward instead of up or backward could be more because it looked good to the Einiosaur ladies in the herd. That’s right, it was used by males to cruise for babes.

“Llllllllladies… your PRINCE has arrived!”

One of Einiosaurus’ ceratopsian relatives was named Monoclonius, and looked similar in size and shape to Einie, except the shape of the horn. Pachyrhinosaurs only had a thick bone “battering ram” on their noses. Trikes had 3 horns, Styracosaurs had horns on their face and their shields.

And as this picture shows, it was really hard getting them all together for a family photo…

This brings me to the second bit… why they most likely only used their horns as weapons in rare circumstances. The horns were sort of like deer antlers, in that they were relatively brittle, and easy to break off. They weren’t rooted deeply enough in the skull to withstand hard impacts, and weren’t all bone.

During mating season, it’s presumed that many young bulls in a herd would suffer broken horns from competition for mating rights. The cores of the horns(what we see in fossils) were bone, but they were covered with thick keratin, like the stuff our toenails are made of.

Their ornate neck shields were not really shields, either. The bone structure shows huge holes in them - they weren’t solid. These were used probably for mating displays - the bull Einies flushed blood into the shields, causing them to change colors and attract a mate… Or in the worst-case scenario - to frighten predators away by suddenly making themselves look bigger than the carnivore.

“Egon, remember that time you tried to drill a hole through your head?” “That would’ve worked if you hadn’t stopped me…” ~ Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters

Other than being used to get a girlfriend, the shield was pretty useless. So unless a horned dino had no choice but to use its horns to defend itself, it most likely didn’t escape uninjured.


Taking a time out from hunting this afternoon. Nothing out there today. Well, nothing I need to waste darts on, anyway.

I’ll be here to answer your dinosaur questions, so if you have one, post it here - I will do my best to give you an answer.




Well, this isn’t really what science believes, but if you DO want to know more about the Rex and other Tyrannosaurs, post your question here!


You mean “Carnivores”? I think I used to have the redone version of that on Steam. It was really hard taking aim to even hit his eye, as I remember.

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Is that what it was called? I know you could hunt all kinds of dinos (that could instantly kill you), and the T-Rex was the hardest. I remember being in summer “camp” and the kids and I playing it, and all of us bolted towards this mountain-like structure where the rex couldn’t reach. That was the only way to kill it.

If you had cheat codes, nothing could kill you. I had to look everywhere, but finally found a cheat code to unlock “god mode”.

Hey, have you ever wanted to see what some of John Hammond’s original plans for introducing new dinosaur species included? Check out this new post:

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Hey! Hey, you! The one reading this! Did you know that there is far more to dinosaurs than what Jurassic World shows us?

Learn more about their fascinating stories here! I answer questions from YOU, the readers! Step up and learn something awesome today!

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Just always keep the rules in mind. A little bit, okay, but don’t bump too much.

Basic Rules: Please don’t do the following

  • Create an account if you are under 16 years old
  • All caps post; we view this as screaming and we would prefer if you didn’t
  • Use animated GIFs as your avatar or backgrounds
  • Thread Bump, Necro-Post, and Derail Threads (including “first” posts)

I don’t mean the topics you linked.

By writing you got time and would like to answer some questions (every few hours) you are bumping this topic back to the top.

I like your topics, but you still shouldn’t do it too often or it might get annoying. :wink:

Fun facts about Carnotaurus Sastrei:



Those tiny little nub arms literally had no elbows! But for what it lacked in reach, the Carnotaur had the advantage in speed. It most likely ran toward its prey at full pelt with mouth open wide to rip a huge chunk out of whatever it was attacking. A steam engine on legs.


For more about Carnotaurus and his other Abelisaurid kin, stop by and ask a question or three!


Thanks for a fun thread! So what is the current thinking with the larger Therapods fairly useless forearms?

Brent, scientists are still trying to work that one out. Carno and others in his particular group all had those useless floppy nubs. Rex and his kin actually get made fun of a lot due to their tiny forelimbs, but recently it’s been discovered that the chest muscles in Rex and other Tyrannosaurs were incredibly strong. Those tiny Rex arms could rip you in two like a cheese stick.



The large predators each had their own distinct variation on the forelimb design. Baryonyx had huge 1-foot long hooked claws on either hand to fish with. Allosaurs had smaller arms, but with 3 talons on each hand for grabbing it’s prey.

The same with raptors. Their arms were designed to hold onto their prey while biting and delivering slashing kicks with their foot claws.

It’s pretty much believed that arm size and function in predators had a great deal to do with the environment each species dealt with. Adaptation through evolution.


Makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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No prob. I’m going to sign off for the broadcast day. Almost 2:30 am here. I shall resume this thread in the morning, then.

If anyone has a question while I’m out, go ahead and leave it here. I will try to answer it as soon as possible. Thanks!

Why dinosaurs in alive don’t have feathers?

@Feathers, some do (or rather, DID). Utahraptor and Lythronax both have feathers, as does Tanycolagreus, Proceratosaurus, Erlikosaurus, Deinocheirus and Pyroraptor. Since this is a video game, I wouldn’t expect every dino to have feathers, as it was revealed in the films that none of the animals on the islands were made true to how they would’ve appeared in nature. They were made to appeal to the masses: Bigger. Louder. MORE TEETH.

In reality, Gorgosaurus would have had feathers - it was a polar Tyrannosaur after all - and needed the feathers for warmth. In JP3, the Velociraptors living on Site B had “proto feathers”. Actual velociraptors had feathers as well, but sadly were nowhere near as tall as the movies depicted them. The raptors in the films were all modeled after Deinonychus or Utahraptor.


Feathers also were an evolutionary milestone, marking dinosaurs and birds as one and the same.