Pachycephalosaurus (Pachycephalosaurus) is a herbivorous dinosaur that lived in the west of North America in the late Cretaceous period. It is distinguished by a significant thickening a “dome” at the top, reaching 25 cm in thickness. The function of this dome remains unclear, although scientists have been arguing about this since 1940, when the bones of this dinosaur were first discovered.
Perhaps the dome serves as a kind of “hammer that crushes dinosaurs” and protected the head of the pachycephalosaurus when attacked by predators. However, unlike the armored Ankylosaurus, the body of the Pachycephalosaurus was not protected.
Therefore, the protection of only one head could hardly help the animal resist the powerful jaws of a tyrannosaurus rex or any other predator. Another theory suggests that the bony dome served as an identification mark and helped pachycephalosaurs recognize each other. The dome of males may have been brightly colored to attract the attention of females.
Another suggestion is that pachycephalosaurs may have used the bony dome on their head as a weapon in battle against predators or against each other. A complete Pachycephalosaurus skeleton has not been found, but examination of the skeletons of its close relatives suggests that the animal’s bones were strong enough to withstand serious fights.
It is likely that the skull of the pachycephalosaurus was firmly connected to the spine using muscles and ligaments. The spine, in turn, was very strong, and powerful hind legs corresponded to it. So if two males, having accelerated, encountered their heads, then the blow was extinguished, since his strength was transmitted through a strong spine, limbs and went into the ground.
Some scientists object that the bone that forms a thickening on the skull was not strong enough so that animals could fight their heads. They believe that the pachycephalosaurs rested their heads, trying to push the enemy from their place, or used head blows into various parts of the enemy’s body.
Many animals have a serious intraspecific struggle. The winners in this struggle can lead the herd, choose the best places to live, mate with the females attracted. If pachycephalosaurs fought each other with the help of their bone domes, then, most likely, it was with such goals.
If even with the help of the dome they recognized and distinguished each other, then this means that pachycephalosaurs lived, moved and searched for food in whole herds. In the neighborhood of pachycephalosaurs lived strong, well-protected ankylosaurs and trumpet-voweled parasaurolophus. All these herbivorous animals were tasty prey for the most powerful and dangerous predators of that time albertosaurus and tyrannosaurs.