|Resin cast of Stegoceras validum.|
The hydrodynamic processes of isolated dinosaur bones in general have been overlooked in scientific research. Pitting and erosive structures on pachycephalosaurid frontoparietal domes have been attributed to taphonomic processes, such as weathering and erosion. Furthermore, the high frequency of isolated domes characterizing the pachycephalosaurid fossil record suggests a unique taphonomic history. In order to investigate the hydrodynamic properties and potential roles of taphonomic processes on pachycephalosaurid domes, a series of transport experiments were conducted to assess the competent velocities and settling orientations of a collection of pachycephalosaurid specimens.
|Resin casts of Hansseusia sternbergi used|
in flume experiments.
Though specimens vary considerably in mass, the results suggest specimen shape has a greater influence on transport and hydrodynamic behavior than size; significantly lower velocities are required to transport complete skulls than isolated domes.
|10-meter flume |
UW-Milwaukee Department of Geology
(All molding and casting was performed with permission from lending institutions - Thanks to Scott Williams at the Burpee Museum of Natural History and Don Brinkman at the Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Very special thanks to the Dinosaur Research Institute which supported this research!)