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How did Triceratops grow its horns?

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9:17am, October 18, 2001

From Bozeman, Mont., at the 61st annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate

Paleontology

Newly discovered fossil skulls of juvenile Triceratops may help reveal how the dinosaurs grew their three trademark horns.

Until recently, scientists had unearthed the fossil skulls only of adult

Triceratops, with the exception of a 28-centimeter-long skull that likely belonged

to a young animal, says Mark B. Goodwin, a paleontologist at the University of

California, Berkeley. That small specimen indicated that the horn growing up from

the end of the animal's snout started out as a separate bone that later fused to

the skull and continued to grow.

In the past 3 years, Goodwin and his colleagues have excavated the skulls of a few

juvenile Triceratops from the Hell Creek Formation in eastern Montana. The horns

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