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Evaluating combat in ornithischian dinosaurs


  • A. A. Farke

    Corresponding author
    1. Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont, CA, USA
    • Correspondence

      Andrew Farke, Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, 1175 West Baseline Road, Claremont, CA 91711, USA.


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  • Editor: David Hone


Ornithischia, a diverse clade of herbivorous dinosaurs, has numerous members with structures hypothesized to function in combat. These include the horned ceratopsids, dome-headed pachycephalosaurs, spike-thumbed iguanodonts, tail-clubbed ankylosaurs and spiked stegosaurs, among others. Three main lines of evidence support such inferences: (1) analogy with modern animals; (2) biomechanical analysis and simulation; and (3) paleopathology. The most solid inferences utilize multiple pieces of evidence, although this is hampered by a limited understanding of combat in modern animals.