Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Styracosaurus albertensis|
| Styracosaurus albertensis|
Styracosaurus (sty·rac·o·saur·us) ("spiked lizard") was an herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. It was a relative of Centrosaurus and Monoclonius. Unlike them, however, Styracosaurus had six long horns extending from its neck frill, a smaller horn above each of its eyes, and a single horn protruding from its nose at 60 centimeters (2 feet) long and 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide. It was a large dinosaur, reaching lengths of 6 meters (20 feet) and weighing as much as 4 tons. It stood about 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall.
The first fossil remains of Styracosaurus were discovered in Alberta, Canada in 1913, in an area now known as the Dinosaur Provincial Park. Other centrosaurine dinosaurs, such as Pachyrhinosaurus, were also found in that province. Like the rest of the ceratopsian dinosaurs, Styracosaurus possessed four short legs and a bulky body, and was probably able to achieve speeds of up to 32 kilometers per hour (20 miles per hour). Its tail was rather short. It also had a beak and cheek teeth, indicating that its diet was herbivorous and composed mostly of cycads, palms, and other prehistoric plants.
Like other ceratopsians, this dinosaur was most likely a herd animal, traveling in large groups and caring for its young after they hatched. Further evidence of this exists in the discovery of a bonebed in Arizona, USA with about 100 Styracosaurus fossils.
According to its Encephalization Quotient (brain to body weight ratio), the Styracosaurus was of intermediate intelligence.