Goyocephale (adorned head)
A. Perle, T. Maryanska & H. Osmólska - 1982
Estimated 2.5 meters long
G. lattimorei (type)
Late Cretaceous, 70 million years ago
Goyocephale is a genus of pachycephalosaurid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago. Its name means “adorned head,” which refers to the thickened, bony dome on top of its skull. Fossils of Goyocephale have been found in what is now Mongolia.
Pachycephalosaurs were a group of herbivorous dinosaurs known for their distinctive thickened skulls, which they likely used for head-butting contests during mating rituals or territorial disputes. Goyocephale was a medium-sized pachycephalosaurid, measuring about 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length and weighing around 180 kilograms (400 pounds).
The most distinctive feature of Goyocephale is its dome-shaped skull, which is thick and heavily ornamented with bony protrusions and ridges. The dome is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) thick and is believed to have been used for intraspecific combat, as well as for display and species recognition.
Goyocephale also had a long, slender tail and relatively long hindlimbs, which suggest that it was a relatively agile and fast-moving dinosaur. However, its forelimbs were relatively short and had only two-fingered hands, which would have been of little use for grasping or manipulating objects.
Goyocephale was a contemporary of other pachycephalosaurids such as Prenocephale and Homalocephale, as well as other herbivorous dinosaurs like therizinosaurs and ornithopods. While it is not known exactly what Goyocephale ate, it was likely a plant-eater that fed on low-growing vegetation.
In conclusion, Goyocephale is an interesting and important dinosaur because of its unique skull and the insights it provides into the behavior and ecology of pachycephalosaurids. Its bony dome is one of the most heavily ornamented of any known dinosaur, and its use for intraspecific combat and display is still being investigated by paleontologists. As more fossils of Goyocephale and other pachycephalosaurids are discovered and studied, we are likely to learn even more about the fascinating world of these ancient herbivores.