Pronounced STEG-oh-CEER-us, Stegoceras (meaning "roofed horn") was a bipedal, herbivorous, dome-headed, plant-eating dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, about 76-65 million years ago. This pachycephalosuar was about 7 ft (2 m) long and lived in what is now Alberta, Canada. The type species is P. validum. Stegoceras was named by paleontologist L. Lambe in 1902.
It had long been thought that Stegoceras' (and other pachycephalosaurs') thick dome may have been used for ramming rivals during mating and dominance combat, for attracting mates, and as a last-ditch defense against predators. Paleontologist Mark Goodwin of the University of California at Berkeley has analyzed many pachycephalosaur skulls (including those of Pachycephalosaurus), finding no evidence of healed scars. Also, under close analysis, the thick skull bone is not rigid and solid, but porous and fragile when put under extreme pressure. ``It's time to kill the myth.... It certainly wouldn't be in their own best interests to ram heads in a fight,'' said Goodwin. ``They would have killed each other, and a couple of bowling balls would hardly make good targets.''
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