Rare Stegoceras Dinosaur Skull Bone with Brain Case

Stegoceras sp skull bone

Class Reptilia, Superorder Dinosauria, Order Ornithischia, Family Pachycephalosauridae

Geological Time: Late Cretaceous (67 million years ago)

Size: Dinosaur bone is 55 mm long, 44 mm wide, 35 mm thick

Fossil Site: Hell Creek Formation, Garfield County, Montana

Fossil Code: PFV901

Price: $2750.00 - sold

Stegoceras Dinosaur Skull Bone Fossil - Outer SurfaceDescription: This skull dome is from a dinosaur called Stegoceras, and not from the more commonly known stegosaurus. While stegosaurus had plates and tail spikes, its skull was very basic and primitive. In contrast, Stegoceras’ skull was much more ornate and "sexy". Stegoceras was the smallest North American Pachycephalosaurs with a full grown adult measuring perhaps six to eight feet.

Stegoceras was first described in 1902 by Lawrence Lambe as a ceratopsian. It was not until 1924 that paleontologists realized it was a Pachycephalosaur. From the Stegoceras Dinosaur Skull Bone Fossil - Inner Brain Case Surface1920s to 1945, it was believed to be related to, or even synonymous with the theropod Troodon, due to the similar teeth. It was eventually correctly classified and named Stegoceras, meaning "horny roof".

Stegoceras is only known from partial specimens from North America, Its fossils are rarely found, and are mostly small, fragmental skull domes, isolated teeth, and toe digits. According to our collector: "I have only seen three skull dome fragments from this animal in fifteen years of hunting. Two of them had the brain impressions. None of them had ornamental knobs. This Stegoceras dome has the best ornamental knobs I have ever seen on an animal this small”. It also has the interior surface of the brain case. It easily ranks as the best specimen I have ever found”

Stegoceras is thought to have used its thick dome in head-butting contests to attract females and/or claim territory. The braincase, back of the skull, and backbone morphologies suggest that forces were sent from the dome through the head, around the braincase, and down the backbone to the limbs. If so, Stegoceras could survive the stress of head-to-head combat much like modern goats and sheep.

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