Ceratopsian quills

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Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:53 am

Some of the folks at Wikipedia were asking about the bristles on the Triceratops, so I told them I'd ask y'all what you know about them. Anyone care to volunteer information?

Also, has this been published? Whose theory is it?
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:07 am

As far as I know there is no published material about more derived ceratopsians containing quills. I know a while back Dalton talked about how a scientist as his museum said they found quill nobs on the backside of a Triceratops specimen, but thats it. But, given that the more primitive Psittacosaurus as well as even more primitive forms are known to have quills, I think that the idea is certainly not out of the question. As for where the whole idea originated, its hard to say.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:22 am

Hmmm, wonder where Dalton is these days....

Yeah, I remember him saying that...unfortunately, that thread has disappeared for good, and it's apparently the fault of Melvin?
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:36 am

'Melvin' is actually also known as Customer Support. Whenever someone reports a thread, the report gets sent to Customer Support, who in turn delete it (without question).

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:54 am

Interesting. How on earth did the original LotP thread make it for two years before getting Melvin'd?
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:04 pm

No idea. Really, there was no reason for it to get reported in the first place. Then again, thats the case with most of the threads that got hit.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:07 pm

Well, there was the image of the jet-pack raptor with scissors that had the F word on it, I believe, and there was also the image I hotlinked that ended up getting replaced by its host with porn...
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:10 pm

I know that, but as I recall they both got removed (as I remember, you removed it as soon as you noticed it, and then Draci removed it as well when it got pointed out as being possibly inappropriate, unless I am remembering wrongly).

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:12 pm

Lol yeah I definitely deleted that the moment I noticed it. I was surprised it hadn't been mentioned since it was a few pages back at the time. That was the first time (and only time, with the exception of the hacker attack on ImageShack) that I've had that happen to me.
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:16 pm

Lol and I've never had that happen to me. A site I went on got shockspammed once, though, if that counts for anything.

Lol I love how this thing got insanely off topic after just one post.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:23 pm

I was just thinking about that....I was wondering why I was clicking "Ceratopsian quills" to discuss the end of the old LotP thread....

I'm glad the ImageShack hack got reversed...I nearly lost several of my non-backed-up images I used for forums.
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:20 am

Just heard that the specimen is getting prepped and stuff, so hopefully a publication in a few months. Apparently though, the things believed to be quills could very well be just some of the 'scutes' along its back which resemble the broken bottoms of shafts. So....

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:26 pm

And what would that imply?
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:13 pm

That means its still up in the air, at least until it gets properly examined and described.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:44 am

Oh you mean that may just be the natural shape of the scales?
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:44 am

Yes, it is possible, but at present I can't tell you for sure.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:36 am

Alright, been doing what I can to look into this myself. So, lets recap:

There is currently no published material and very little written material in general as far as I know. There are a couple pics of Triceratops skin floating around out there, but unfortunately none showing the quills in question. Apparently it was supposed to get published a couple years ago, but as you can see, it did not.
What it known of Triceratops skin is that it had long, smooth belly scales similar to a crocodile. Some parts of the skin were pebbly like other ornithischians, however other parts were more knobbly and bore osteoderms, once again in similar fashion to a crocodilian. As originally stated by Dinoguy2 on Wikipedia some time ago, "...with many larger scutes that have distinctive "nipples" in the center! Apparently the authors suggest that these might have formed the base of hollow psittacosaur-like quills." However more recently (only a month or two, actually) Tom Holtz said, "...the only evidence for projections from the body was that some of the central scute bumps were not rounded domes but looked like they might have been the broken bottoms of shafts." As you can see, there is some minor conflict between the two accounts. What it sounds like to me is that the row of scutes running down the middle of the back may have been, or at least may have born, quill-like structures.
This image by wikipedian ArthurWeasley conveys this reasonably well, although I would have added some more rough, knobbly texture on the topside, and put the quills more on the spine than on the sides. Also, the fact that the horns would be facing upward instead of forward if the skull was placed on the ground and the fact that it still has the eppoccipitals on the frill indicate the animal is not fully grown, so I'm not sure whether that was intentional or if this was supposed to be a full adult and he just made a mistake.


Last edited by Dino589 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:24 am

Just for the sake of keeping you updated, Dinoguy2 now goes by MMartyniuk, and ArthurWeasley is known in real life as Nobu Tamura (and is one of my favorite paleoartists).

Wow, croc belly, huh! Never imagined that possible, at least not in the past 15 or so years of my life, lol. When I was young, I was familiar with the idea, but over time I pictured dinosaurs in general as more lizardlike than croclike.

Um...your link didn't post correctly.
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:55 am

Ah, I see. I already knew Dinoguy2 was Matt Martyniuk (plus I read his blog regularly; its called DinoGoss if you were interested in taking a look at it) and that ArtherWeasley was Nobu Tamura (who also, as I recall, has a site, called PaleoCritti or something like that), I was just referring to them by how their names appeared on the page I was looking at.
I have a different opinion than you about Tamura's work, though. Yeah, I'll admit I'm not his biggest fan. I like Dimitri Bogdanov's work, though. Well, most of it. I like the little artistic touches he does, and how, especially on his digital work, it looks really blobby and simple when put to full size yet when viewed 'normally' it looks really good. Only thing I don't like about his stuff is when its quite obviously done overtop an existing image (and, in the case of his tail-dragging Triceratops, can cause a couple minor problems). I also really love Steven O'Connor's work.

Aw drat. Yeah, it seems the copy-pasted on the link screwed up, and accidentally pasted that part of the Tom Holtz quote instead of the link. Fixed it, though.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:51 pm

Lol...that Triceratops makes Mojoceratops look less mojo.
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confirmation

Post by greenappleman7 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:01 am

schnautzr wrote:Lol...that Triceratops makes Mojoceratops look less mojo.
haha yeah! since it's over a year later now- can you guys confirm this rumor? I've been looking on the internet to find more info on this quilled triceratops and haven't found anything definitive yet...

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by schnautzr on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:38 pm

Unfortunately the paleontologist responsible for the theory and holding the evidence is unsure enough that he hasn't published his findings just yet. He's holding out for more solid evidence.
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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by greenappleman7 on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:03 am

Thanks- I hope we find out more soon.

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by Dino589 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:58 am

Surely holding out for more evidence of "quills" isn't the only reason the author(s) isn't(/aren't) trying to publish? Regardless it would be a good contribution to at least describe the specimen at some point. Hmm... Well, hopefully we'll get something formal soon.

Oh yeah, and as for the specimen itself, its still awaiting publication. Well, it doesn't exactly have quills. It was originally reported to, but it doesn't. What we do have is portions of skin of multiple locations on Triceratops, the ones more or less on the dorsal side bearing structures which have been speculated to support quills, but we don't know, and it is somewhat hard to judge since all there is is a few photos floating around the web. For all we currently know, it could have just been covered large polygonal bumpy scales. But we do know that it is real, and we have a general idea of what the skin in some portions of the body was like.
The other thing is, over the years this thing has been rumoured about, its kinda gone like a game of 'Telephone.' It went from a quilled Triceratops, to a Triceratops with quill-bearing structures, to some Triceratops skin that had structures for supporting quills, to a Triceratops mummy, to a Triceratops with curious skin, to some skin likely from Triceratops with structures that possibly could have supported quills (and as it is it seems like that last one is the closest to being correct). A bit confusing, eh?

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Re: Ceratopsian quills

Post by greenappleman7 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:48 am

Confusing stuff- I wish I could find something straight forward Suspect

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