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Styracosaurus was a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur. It lived in North America (Canada and the northern United States). Its remains were first uncovered and described by a palaeontologist named Dr. Lawrence Lambe, in 1913. Its fossilized remains were first found in the Dinosaur Park Formation, in an area that is now considered to be part of Dinosaur Provincial Park, in Alberta, Canada.


Styracosaurus was approximately 5.5 to 5.8 meters in length, and stood around 1.65 meters high, at the hips. It also weighed about 2.7 tonnes. Like all other ceratopsians, or horned dinosaurs, this creature walked on all four legs. It had a long tail. It had a huge skull, with a pointy beak, for shearing up the tough vegetation that presumably formed the vast majority of its diet. Jutting out from the back of its head was a very large, bony frill. At its widest, this frill was about 7 inches thick, and was almost certainly used to defend itself against contemporary predators, in its environment. These probably included the fierce Tyrannosaurs, such as Albertosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and Daspletosaurus.

Perhaps the most astonishing feature of Styracosaurus, however, were the many horns jutting out from its skull. It had one large nose horn sticking out from its skull, directly above its two nostrils. And, in addition to that horn, there were also at least 6 more horns sticking out of its frill. However, unlike the rest of the frill and the nose horn, studies have shown that these horns were very brittle and fragile, and probably did not help it much to defend itself against predators, that much, at all. Instead, they were probably used more for display (to show off to mates, to scare away rivals that were attempting to invade its territory, etc.).

In Cryptozoology

The Styracosaurus is perhaps best well—known among the cryptozoological community for the fact that it is often seen as the basis for the legend of the Ngoubou, an alleged living dinosaur often said to inhabit the rainforests of central Africa. This whole affair began in 2000, when the creationist scientist and explorer William Gibbons travelled to the Congo, on an expedition to search for the somewhat closely related cryptid, Mokele-mbembe. He then talked to some native peoples, and asked them about the Mokele-mbembe. They then told him about a related mysterious beast, which they called the Ngoubou. When Gibbons then showed them pictures of numerous animals, they identified a drawing of the Styracosaurus as being the best known candidate, for the Ngoubou.