What with yesterday’s article on an ‘alternative look’ for ceratopsians, here’s another one. The image used here (again, a powerpoint slide from one of my talks) is pretty self-explanatory, and I use it here because Witmer and colleagues (Papp 1997, Papp & Witmer 1998) used the leptoceratopsid ceratopsian Leptoceratops as their examplar…
Did Leptoceratops (and other ceratopsians, and other ornithischians) really look like this? That is, with keratinous tissue extending along the jaw margins and ‘cheeks’ being absent (and by ‘cheeks’ I mean sheets of tissue enclosing the lateral surfaces of the oral cavity). It looks very unlikely and at least some evidence weighs against this hypothesis; however, Papp and Witmer have (to my knowledge) never published anything more than abstracts on this subject, so it’s possible that a full and detailed discussion of this argument is yet to appear. Please tell me if you know better. We’ve looked at some of the evidence for dinosaur cheeks a few times before: for more please see the therizinosauroid article here, the Panoplosaurus and Edmontonia articles from ankylosaur week, and the junk in the trunk article.
More ceratopsians tomorrow (in theory), this time focusing on some very obscure species. And I have no idea what’s happened to the look of the blog – where the hell is the blogroll? Hopefully it will get sorted out soon.
Refs – –
Papp, M. J. 1997. Assessment of the status of cheeks in ornithischian dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 17 (Supp. 3), 68.
– . & Witmer, L. 1998. Cheeks, beaks, or freaks: a critical appraisal of buccal soft-tissue anatomy in ornithischian dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18 (Supp. 3), 69.