Pachycephalosaurus

Pachycephalosaurus

Pachycephalosaurs were the "dome-headed" dinosaurs which had a thick, fused skull which had short bony spikes or nodes along the dome fringe. They may have used these thick skulls for head butting. The Pachycephalosaurus was a medium sized dinosaur which reached a length of 15 feet. They roamed the northwestern US during the late Cretaceous period. Fossil remains in well preserved teeth, bones and claws. Late Cretaceous, Hell Creek Fm. (or equivalent), 68-66 MYA.

Pachycephalosaurus fossils are quite rare. In fact, only one partial skeleton has been found. A dinosaur census conducted by the Hell Creek Project calculated relative abundance of the Pachycephalosaurus was 1% of the population. Today, we find fossilized teeth, unguals (claws), spikes, and non-associated bones. Authenticity guaranteed.

Pachycephalosaurus tooth identification. Thescelosaurus teeth are routinely identified and sold as Pachycephalosaurus teeth since they maxillary teeth have similar shape and size. There has been some good work done presented in the Fossil Forum. The Fossil Forum author concludes that Pachycephalosaurus maxillary teeth can be differentiated from Thescelosaurus teeth since the Pachy teeth exhibit  “vertical ridges are more pounced, fewer and a more prominent center ridge may exist. There is also no symmetry with the crowns.” Several good photographic references are provided. A dominant center ridge appears to be consistent and lack of symmetry on the crown appeared in most of the Pachycepholsaur reference teeth.  That said, rooted teeth from both species are scarce and are highly collectable.

Pachycephalosaurus ungual (claw) identification. Thescelosaurus unguals (claws) are routinely identified and sold as Pachycephalosaurus unguals as they have a similar shape and size. Unfortunately there is little reference data for Pachycephalosaurus unguals with only one Pachy specimen with partial legs found. Per my discussion with the primary Fossil Forum Hell Creek dinosaurs author, he suggested “to differentiate between the two is Thescelosaurus claws are flat and triangular and the ones with a twist are Pachy”. That said, unguals  (claws) from both species are scarce and are highly collectable.

Pachycephalosaurus spikes or nodes. Pachycephalosaurus dinosaurs are known for their large domed skull tops which is an extremely thick bone and a skull that was ornamented with “spikes” and “nodes” giving them a one-of-a-kind appearance. The Pachy spikes and nodes are not attached to the skull, but are actual skull elements that typically found as segments of skull with nicely articulated surfaces on top and bottom. So, these skull pieces would come from a Pachycephalosaurus that passed away. The largest spikes or horns are found on the back of the neck of the early Pachycephalosaurus growth stages referred to  Dracorex and Stygimoloch. The Pachy spikes and nodes are quite rare and highly collectable.


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  1. Pachycephalosaurus spike
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    A Top Quality, Rare Pachychephalosaurus wyomingensis node cluster from the late Cretaceous of northern North America. An August Fossil of the Month. Pachychephalosaurus is the dinosaur which is famous for its large domed head surrounded by these spikes and nodes (2+ nodes). This spike has excellent color / patina with exceptional surface articulation. The blood grooves are still present in the bone. It is a complete specimen with no cracks or breaks. This is a node cluster with a large node surrounded by a group of small nodes. Note -  the excellent articulated skull surface on the base of the node. Legally collected on private land in the Hell Creek Fm., Powder River Co., Montana. An excellent and very rare collector's quality Pachychephalosaurus node cluster. You don't see these skull pieces very often. No repair or restoration. Authenticity guaranteed. A very special piece - my best cluster!

    DP33  BoP     SIZE: 2" H  (Base: 1-7/8"  x  1-3/8")

    Note - Adding 6 new Pachy spikes / nodes in August 2020.       Link to Pachy fossils catalog

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