Feeds

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

Glasgow not yet built at the time

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.