Our thanks to prehistoric animal model fan and collector James who sent into Everything Dinosaur some pictures of the display base he had made for his Papo Pentaceratops model. The clever design of the Papo Pentaceratops permits collectors to display this figure as a quadruped or in a rearing pose, the Pentaceratops being balanced on its hind legs supported by its tail. James has added a base to the figure and created a little prehistoric scene in which this large, horned dinosaur is confronted by a crocodilian.

Papo Pentaceratops with display base
The Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model is confronted by a crocodilian. Although alarmed by the presence of a predator this large, ornithischian dinosaur has nothing to fear from the croc. Picture credit: James.

Crocodilians Prey on Dinosaurs

Palaeontologists have named and described a wide range of different crocodilians and their close relatives from fossils found in Upper Cretaceous rocks in North America. Pentaceratops fossils are known from the Kirtland Formation (late Campanian faunal stage), in New Mexico. The sandstones and mudstones that predominately make up these deposits were laid down in a wide, alluvial flood plain close to the western shore of a shallow sea that split North America into two landmasses – Appalachia to the east and Laramidia to the west.

Papo Pentaceratops Display Base
The Pentaceratops display base. The horned dinosaur is alarmed by the presence of the crocodilian. Picture credit: James.

Several crocodilians are known from the Kirtland Formation (Denazinosuchus, Leidyosuchus and Brachychampsa), but these genera would have posed no threat to a fully-grown Pentaceratops, or indeed any large plant-eating dinosaur.

Akainacephalus johnsoni.
When the armoured dinosaur Akainacephalus from the Kaiparowits Formation of Utah was described (2018), a scientific illustration of this dinosaur was commissioned. The painting depicts an Akainacephalus walking past a group of basking Denazinosuchus. The Denazinosuchus are no threat to the armoured dinosaur. The Kaiparowits Formation is geologically older than the Kirtland Formation. Picture credit: Andrey Atuchin (Denver Museum of Nature and Science).

An adult Deinosuchus could have been a threat to a Pentaceratops. Although this giant alligatoroid lived during the Campanian and its fossils are associated with estuarine environments of the Western Interior Seaway, team members at Everything Dinosaur are unaware of any Deinosuchus fossils having been excavated from Kirtland Formation deposits. Still, it is highly likely that dinosaurs such as Pentaceratops would have frequently come across large crocodilians at water holes or when attempting to cross rivers, so some interspecific interaction is entirely plausible.

Papo Pentaceratops display base.
A close-up view of the Papo Pentaceratops display base. Picture credit: James.

Papo Pentaceratops

The Papo Pentaceratops has proved to be a popular model, since it was introduced into the Papo “Dinosaures” range in 2019. A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated that they had been delighted to receive the images of the dinosaur and praised the model collector for creating such a carefully constructed prehistoric scene.

Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model.
The Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model. A popular addition to the Papo “Dinosaures” model range.

To view the Papo Pentaceratops and the rest of the Papo models in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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