3
$\begingroup$

Later in my Dinosaur Time story I plan on having a human civilization. However there is a very high risk of them being eaten by theropods like T rex or hurt by other dinosaurs such as Ankylosaurus.

So I planned on having ceratopsians like Triceratops defend the human civilization as the humans learn about the dinosaurs starting with ceratopsians.

However Triceratops, even as large as it is, is easy prey for a pack of T rex. And baby triceratops are nowhere near ready to defend themselves.

Also, egg laying would make there be gaps in the defense unless the humans told the ceratopsians something along these lines:

"Don't worry. We will protect the eggs while you protect us."

So what I am asking here is how many ceratopsians is enough for good defense?

And I am talking Triceratops mainly because of its size. However if you give me a good number of Triceratops for defense, I can easily look up different ceratopsians and their sizes(possibly even horn length which would be awesome) and deduce how many of that ceratopsian would be good for defense(not including protoceratops since they don't have any horns)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ First off, contrary to popular belief, triceratops was NOT easy prey for a tyrannosaurus. Second off, if you'd rather go for something larger, you could look into the ichnogenus Ceratopsipes, it likely weighed in at about 25 metric tonnes. $\endgroup$ – Myrdden Wyllt Apr 9 '16 at 2:14
3
$\begingroup$

If analogies with modern herd animals like buffalo are accurate, the power of ceratopsian defense isn't so much about the size of the individual as the ability of the herd to act as a group and instinctively adopt a defensive posture capable of deterring one of more carnosaurs.

In this case, the humans would have to adapt their behaviours to be "adopted" by the ceratopsian herd, or be seen as the young of the herd. In the case of a threat, the herd will adopt the defensive circle,, with larger and more aggressive adults on the outside and the vulnerable young (and humans) huddled in the centre of the herd.

This would make human civilization resemble the nomadic existence of the American Plains Indians or the nomads of the Eurasian Steppe. Indeed the lifestyle of nomadic peoples living in a sort of symbiosis with their herd animals would probably be a good model for people to adopt under these circumstances.

The only possible downside is if the ceratopsians are similar to modern rhinos, which react violently to even other herbivores in close proximity. If this is the case, humans will have to rethink their strategy, perhaps hiding among the massive herds of hadrosaurs instead.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ By and large the reason for rhinoceroses aggressive behavior is their poor eyesight. Seeing as ceratopsians were archosaurs, which typically have excellent eyesight, this probably won't be an issue. $\endgroup$ – Myrdden Wyllt Apr 9 '16 at 4:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.