Jurassic Park Revision #76: Bonehead Dinosaurs Not Head-Butters
Pachycephalosaurs, or bone-heads, were dome-headed dinosaurs with skulls nine inches thick. Interpretation: they rammed each other like rams, or head-butted jeeps filled with hapless human tourists in the movies. Wrong, reports National Geographic in the March 2005 issue: research by Jack Horner and Mark Goodwin has shown that the thick skulls, surprisingly, could not have survived hard impacts. Moreover, the fossils show no signs of head-butting damage. Since the skull didn’t make a very good crash helmet, maybe the boneheads used it for love.
“It may have helped in species recognition or for attracting a mate, the paleontologists speculate.” Whatever works is cute by definition. Speculation is fun. It’s especially fun when it overturns the previous speculation.