Whilst on a recent visit to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, a team member from Everything Dinosaur took the opportunity to admire a replica skull of the North American member of the Pachycephalosauridae – Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.
A Replica Skull of the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
A Very Tactile Experience
This exhibit permits visitors to feel a replica skull of a Pachycephalosaurus. It is great to see such sensory engagement in a museum. Feeling the skull of such a strange dinosaur is quite a tactile experience. The first fossils assigned to this genus were found in Montana eighty years ago. Although the picture that accompanies the replica skull shows a Pachycephalosaurus charging with its head down, the amazing ornamentation, all those bumps, horns and that extraordinary skull remain a mystery. The exact function and purpose of the skull is still debated. Although the dome of bone that sits on top of the head is very thick, research suggests that the cranium would not have stood up to the force of any impacts all that well.
Visitors to the museum can see the large orbit (eye-socket) and the sizeable nostrils. Studies have shown that Pachycephalosaurs probably had excellent eyesight and a good sense of smell.