Schleich Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model Reviewed

One of the new additions to the Schleich World of History model series for 2014, the only horned dinosaur to be added this year, is this colourful model of the Ceratopsid known as Pentaceratops (P. sternbergii).  In this short dinosaur model review, we will discuss this replica, the fossil evidence and compare the Pentaceratops replica to the Triceratops model also made by Schleich which was introduced back in 2012.

The first fossils of Pentaceratops were discovered in 1921 by the famous American palaeontologist Charles Hazelius Sternberg as the Upper Cretaceous sedimentary strata of the south-western United States was being mapped. Pentaceratops was named and scientifically described in 1923, by Henry Fairfield Osborn, the same palaeontologist who named Tyrannosaurus rex back in 1905.  Pentaceratops had a very elongated and relatively narrow head shield when compared to other Chasmosaurine dinosaurs such as the distantly related Triceratops (T. horridus).  This feature has been very well recreated by the design team at Schleich and the detailing is superb, although the model shows little evidence of the large parietal fenestrae, the pair of substantial, skin covered holes that were located towards the top of the head crest.

The Schleich Pentaceratops Compared to the Schleich Triceratops Dinosaur Model

Pentaceratops model is on the left.

Pentaceratops model is on the left.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Many articles published on Pentaceratops refer to the size of the skull, which was certainly very big.  It had been thought that this dinosaur possessed the biggest skull of any terrestrial vertebrate, although many larger specimens once ascribed to Pentaceratops, have been reassigned to a new dinosaur genus, Titanoceratops which was established in 2011.  The lines between these two genera remain a little blurred, although there is plenty of fossil material to study, much of the skull material related to Pentaceratops from the Fruitland and Kirtland Formations of New Mexico and Colorado is crushed and distorted so definitive classification is somewhat hazardous.

To read an article published by Everything Dinosaur in February 2011 about the establishment of the new Titanoceratops genus: Titanoceratops – A New Type of Dinosaur Found in a Scientific Paper

Pentaceratops means “five horned face”, this is a bit of a misnomer, as this dinosaur did not have five horns.  The jugal bone, the bone over the cheek area of the skull, was prominent and came to a point.  The cheek bones may have been covered by horny outgrowths so when viewed from the front, it would look like this dinosaur did indeed have five horns.

An Anterior (view from the front) of Pentaceratops compared to Triceratops

One of the enlarged jugal bones with a horny sheath on it can be clearly seen on the Pentaceratops model (cheek area, under the eye).

One of the enlarged jugal bones with a horny sheath on it can be clearly seen on the Pentaceratops model (cheek area, under the eye).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The horn configuration was the same as the better known Triceratops, the Schleich World of History Triceratops which can be seen adjacent to the Pentaceratops model illustrates this point nicely.  Both dinosaurs had long forward facing brow horns, with a shorter nasal horn.  Pentaceratops was smaller than the largest species of Triceratops and it also had a shorter tail, these details can clearly be seen when the two Schleich models are compared.  Although smaller than the largest species of Triceratops known (T. horridus), scientists estimate that this Late Cretaceous herbivore may have weighed in excess of 3,000 kilogrammes.

Based on an adult Pentaceratops reaching a length of around 6.3 metres, we estimate that this figure is in approximately 1:37 scale as this Schleich replica measures a little over seventeen centimetres in length.  The model has been very well painted and the skin texture with its irregular sized scales and folds of skin, particularly on the underside of the neck, has been rendered with a great deal of care and attention.

A View of the Underside of the Schleich Pentaceratops

The detail on the underside of the Schleich Pentaceratops.

The detail on the underside of the Schleich Pentaceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the fine detail on the underside of the Schleich Pentaceratops dinosaur model.  Note the folds of loose skin underneath the neck and the texture on the underside of the short, stubby tail.

This dinosaur is posed with one front foot off the ground, quite an unusual stance for a prehistoric animal model.  The correct number of digits have been added, five on the front feet, with four toes on the hind feet, the red colouration makes this replica stand out, although we suspect that since the Pentaceratops name is not reproduced on the underside of the model, (see picture above), less well informed dinosaur fans and model collectors could end up referring to this as another Triceratops replica.  Everything Dinosaur provides a fact sheet on Pentaceratops with each model that we sell, hopefully this will help clear up any confusion that may arise.

Pentaceratops and the other models in the Schleich World of History range are available from Everything Dinosaur, the UK based retailer of dinosaur models, toys and games that is staffed by parents, teachers and real dinosaur experts.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Schleich models: Prehistoric Animal Models from Schleich

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