Digital reconstruction of what a triceratops would have looked like.  Gray in color, with a frill and two horns at the top of it's head, plus a third horn at it's nose.

Triceratops was a mighty dinosaur.  This big creature was up to 30 feet long.  Its head was up to 5 feet wide.  Triceratops stood about 10 feet tall, which is as tall as some elephants.  Its size was impressive, but the dinosaur is best known for its horns and frill.  It had a horn above each eye, and it also had one above its nose.  Its frill was a bony collar at the back of the neck, which made Triceratops look bigger.  Scientists believe that it protected the dinosaur from predators, and also attracted mates.  Triceratops lived 68 to 65 million years ago, which was during the Cretaceous Age, and they were one of the last dinosaurs to roam the earth before they all went extinct.

Skeleton of a triceratops, shown on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Digital reconstruction of what a triceratops head would have looked like from three different angles
Did You Know?
  • The name Triceratops means ‘three-horned face.’
  • Triceratops lived in what is now North America.
  • Scientists believe that it weighed up to 12,000 pounds!  That’s heavier than a white rhino.
  • Triceratops was a plant-eater.  It could tear plants with its beak, and knock down small trees with its horns to reach the leaves.
  • They had many leaf-shaped teeth that sliced though leaves, and sharpened against each other as they ate.  As it lost teeth, new ones came in.  They could grow up to 800 teeth during its life.
  • Triceratops lived in family groups.