June 30, 2011

Domed Dinosaur King of the Head Butt

The following animations depict stresses on skulls of the pachycephalosaur Stegoceras validum and a duiker, a modern-day head-butting antelope, resulting from simulated collisions with rivals. Both animals are the size of a small German shepherd, and would collide with similar forces. The duiker cranium “lights up” through more of the skull than in the Stegoceras animation, indicating higher stress and lower structural integrity for head butting. The duiker’s dome is great for head butting, and the Stegoceras dome would be even better. Red and green=higher stress, blue=low stress.

Credit: Eric Snively, Ohio University

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