|“||One of the Tyrannosaurus' principle sources of prey are these bulky Torosaurus, the magnificent bulls of the prehistoric period. In the Late Cretaceous, herds of horned herbivores like these were very common…and attracted many predators.||”|
Torosaurus was a bulky herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur related to Pachyrhinosaurus and Triceratops (according to some paleontologists, the two dinosaurs may be one and the same animal, with some sexual or chronological differences explaining the two different frills and other dissimilarities), but at about 9 meters (30 ft) in length and weighing an estimated 6-9 tonnes, it was smaller and lighter than Triceratops.
These were the magnificent cattle of the Cretaceous period. In the Late Cretaceous, herds of horned herbivores like these were very common…and attracted many predators. However, It had one of the largest skulls of any land animal known in comparison to its body, reaching 3 meters (10 ft) in length. It was on the menu for Tyrannosaurus rex. Thus, being one of T. rex's principle favorite prey, Torosaurus was close to the bottom of the food chain but it fought back, just as Triceratops did. Torosaurus could run at least 23 miles an hour. It was also rarer than Triceratops.
Torosaurus had two large horns sprouting above the eyes with a smaller horn on the snout. Their sharp beaks had rows of shearing teeth. They had the largest head if any land animal known to man.
For the male horned dinosaurs, their horns and crest earned them status. In Torosaurus' case, these displays are designed to avoid physical contact. With one-meter long fragile horns, fighting can easily result in bad injuries. The best and brightest display crest…was usually all that is needed to settle arguments. Occasionally, showing off is not enough, and although fighting was usually a last resort for a Torosaurus, the males resorted to brute force. And in the end, it is the male with the biggest head that won.
They were herbivores, and preferred to live in inland, dry forest instead of coastal swamps.
There are two known species, T. latus, and T. utahensis. But T. utahensis may be a species of Arrhinoceratops, or it's own genus.
In Walking With... series
Torosaurus was featured in the last episode of Walking with Dinosaurs, where it represented the horned or ceratopsian dinosaurs instead of the better-known Triceratops, and where it died out alongside other dinosaurs at the end of the episode, when the meteorite hit Earth. Curiously, it was shown to be actively grazing during both day and night, implying that it could see in darkness (or at least twilight) as well as during the day - a hypothesis that was proven, or rather suggested, only recently.
Behind the Scenes
In 2005, stamps from Liberia reused images of many Walking with... animals including Torosaurus.
Torosaurus had quills on its tail, unlike the one in the orginal series.
A toy of Torosaurus was made by Toyway for their Walking with Dinosaurs toy line.
List of appearances
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Walking with Dinosaurs: A Natural History
- Sea Monsters Adventure Game