Study Blurs Triceratops, Torosaurus Distinction

One of the most recognizable dinosaurs of all time, the Triceratops, may have never been a distinct species after all.

According to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Triceratops, which is known for its three horns and bony frill, may have actually been a juvenile form of the Torosaurus. Researchers John Scannella and Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies said in their ten-year study that the head of the Triceratops changed as they aged. Research by Scannella and Horner revealed that the short and saw-toothed edge frill of Triceratops became longer, thinner, and smoother as the dinosaur aged, a reason why no young Torosaurus has ever been excavated.

With the recent discovery, researchers said the Torosaurus species would likely be abolished, with all specimens related to the dinosaur to be labeled as Triceratops. However, more debates are expected before the change is recognized by the science community.