Dracorex is a special dinosaur with a special name. Here’s a hint: It’s full name is Dracorex hogwartsia.
- This dinosaur’s name means “Dragon King from Hogwarts,” and it’s named that because it resembles the mythical dragons portrayed in the Harry Potter series! What’s not to love about that?
- It lived in the United States, in the area that is now South Dakota in the Late Cretaceous, about 67-66 million years ago.
- This dinosaur was 10 feet long from nose to tail and probably ate mostly plants, although it might have eaten insects and small lizards on occasion.
- Some scientists think it might actually be a young Pachycephalosaurus. Others think this is unlikely. An adult Pachycephalosaurus has a dome-shaped head with small horns. Dracorex has a flat head with long horns. Sure, animals change as they grow from babies to adults, but the basic shape of their bones doesn’t generally change. This would be a drastic difference.
- Other scientists argue that it’s the same dinosaur because it lived during the same time period, in the same environment, with the same needs. They argue that two similar but different species of dinosaurs would have competed too much for the same space and resources.
- Also unlikely, especially since there are numerous examples of similar animals today sharing the same ecosystem.
Questions and Answers
Question: So which is it? Is Dracorex its own species or not?
Answer: There’s not enough evidence yet to positively say for sure, but most scientists conclude that Dracorex is its own species. Regardless, it’s a cool dinosaur with an even cooler name.
Read what J.K. Rowling said about Dracorex’s discovery.