Display or Defense main content.

Display or Defense

Part of the Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries exhibition.

Researchers have long wondered about the purpose of such peculiar features. Perhaps some served to protect the animal in battle. Others might have helped a dinosaur stay cool. More recently, scientists have come to another conclusion: Some of these features were likely used by dinosaurs in the competition for mates or to recognize members of their own species.

Article Fighting or Flirting? Dinosaurs are amazing animals-and sometimes quite bizarre. Among the many different species of dinosaurs, we find all sorts o... Article Whats the Point? These dinosaurs, called ceratopsians, were slow-moving plant eaters that probably lived together in large herds-hardly the ki... Article The Horned Dinosaurs The most famous ceratopsian is Triceratops, with its three horns. But Triceratops is just one member of this large family of... Article Humble Origins Its skull doesn't have any horns, but Psittacosaurus is also a member of the same group as Triceratops and other horned dinos... Article My, What A Big Skull You Have Protoceratops, like most ceratopsians, had a large head compared to its body. One reason ceratopsian heads were so enormous i... Article Herd Mentality Most dinosaur bones are found piece by piece-a broken Stegosaurus thigh bone here, a T. rex tooth there. When paleontologists... Article Strangely Familiar Dinosaurs are not the only animals with unusual features-think of a porcupine's quills or a peacock's tail. Indeed, many crea... Article Delicate Domes The group of dinosaurs known as pachycephalosaursids had distinctive heads, with high, round skulls. Scientists once thought... Article Colorful Display The family of dinosaurs known as stegosaurs are well known for the two rows of bony plates along their backs. Researchers onc... Article Make Love and War The armored dinosaurs, or ankylosaurs, were covered in bony plates, horns and spikes that formed a suit of armor from head to...