Feeds

Dwarfish two-legged dino 'was greatest head-butter ever'

Glasgow not yet built at the time

The next step in data security

A bipedal dinosaur about the size of a German shepherd has been crowned the all-time headbutt champion of the world by Canadian boffins.

Researchers in Alberta, following extensive analysis of the skulls of various species which are known to indulge in headbutting, say that the herbivorous pachycephalosaur Stegoceras validum had the winning bonce. Modern species which routinely go noggin-on-noggin to settle disputes were simply nowhere against the advanced design features sported by the short two-legged prehistoric contender.

Llamas and giraffes are particularly soft puffs, according to Dr Eric Snively, one of the experts who carried out the cranium-clash research. A llama could easily crack its skull against that of another, and giraffes' efforts plainly aren't serious at all.

“If giraffes do manage to butt heads, they can knock each other out because their anatomy isn’t built to absorb the collision as well as something like muskox or big horn sheep.”

Even horny sheep, however, would stand little chance if transported back in time to the favourite pub of Stegoceras validum, there to spill his pint or inadvertently find his lady in their field of vision. Though small, the ancient biped would emerge from any head-to-head encounter in fine shape.

“It’s pretty clear that although the bones are arranged differently in the Stegoceras, it could easily withstand the kinds of forces that have been measured for the living animals that engage in head-butting," says Snively's associate Dr Jessica Theodor. Theodor believes that the primitive bean-battlers, like many modern day species, would knock noggins in disputes over females.

Snively and Theodor's paper Common functional correlates of head-strike behavior in the pachycephalosaur Stegoceras validum (Ornithischia, Dinosauria) and combative artiodactyls is published in PLoS One. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.