Sitting and gathering dust on the shelves of the storage spaces of a
museum in Utah I was once amazed to see a skull of Triceratops that
struck me as ‘immense’. I took a photograph of it, wondering if anybody
had really had noticed the size of the thing... it seemed bigger than
any Triceratops skull I have seen... ever.
Several year later I realize that indeed of course, some expert people have already taken notice a long time ago... and one of them happened to be Dr Bob Bakker.
I have had the pleasure and privilege to work closely with Dr Robert Bakker in his new Random House book “Maximum Triceratops!”(to be released in January 2004).
It is an accesible and well written saga of the most enigmatic giant ceratopsid of all:
“Triceratops maximus” (a name coined by Barnum Brown to originally describe some scrappy Triceratops material that surpassed in size the biggest of the biggest). Bakker claims that it may have outweighed two modern elephants put together, that the skull probably surpassed even the size of Torosaurus and that it was the ‘lone terror’ of the swamps for meat and plant eaters alike.
Being a Robert Bakker book everybody can expect an enormous amount of information and erudite dissertation delivered in his own inimitable style. The man is a teacher’s teacher!
I have delivered more than 30 illustrations (plenty of double page spreads) that range from serious anatomical studies to the humorous, lightweight commentary. Each angle of every Triceratops reconstruction is based on my own studies of skeletal models ‘in-situ’ (Thanks also are due to a Kaiyodo model)... and even though some of them may seem outlandish they are true to the last detail.
The experience has given me some time to study in detail the incredible variety of the genus Triceratops, not only at the size level but at the morphological level too. “Three Horned Face” indeed but the varieties were indeed so different that it seems incredible that such morphologically different specimens can all be assigned to one Triceratops horridus genus or other Triceratops prorsus. There must have been many more, and here is where Triceratops maximus fits!