“Chasm Lizard” Steps into the Spotlight

When it comes to that horned dinosaur group the Chasmosaurinae, it is normally the likes of Triceratops and Torosaurus that get all the attention, so it was with great delight that another member of this family of horned dinosaurs – Chasmosaurus was depicted in the BBC television series “Planet Dinosaur”.

Known from extensive fossil material, Chasmosaurus fossils have been found in large bone-beds indicating that many individuals died together at the same time.  The first fossils of this dinosaur were discovered in Alberta in the 1880s as this vast area of Canada began to be mapped by geologists.  Fossils relating to what we now know as Chasmosaurus were formally named and described as Monoclonius by the eminent Canadian palaeontologist Lawrence Lambe in 1902.  Following several revisions the Chasmosaurus genus was established by Lambe in 1914.

Although not quite as big as its more famous relatives Triceratops and Torosaurus, this dinosaur reached lengths in excess of five metres and would have weighed more than three tonnes.  In the sequence featuring Chasmosaurus, this dinosaur, a single large bull is attacked by a gang of marauding Tyrannosaurids.  Although, most probably a herd animal itself, the large, male herbivore is depicted living away from the herd – just as male elephants do today.  This animal could quite easily fend off an attack from a single predator, but when mobbed by a group of Tyrannosaurs the tables are well and truly turned.

The scene was created to reiterate some of the current scientific thinking that suggests Tyrannosaurs may have hunted in packs.

To read an article on the proposed hunting behaviour of large, Late Cretaceous Theropods: T. rex roamed in packs: Fact or Fiction?

A Model of the Ceratopsid Dinosaur Chasmosaurus

“Chasm Lizard” in the spotlight

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of dinosaur models, including a super Chasmosaurus dinosaur model available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Toys for Girls and Boys

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