A 2013 study by University of Wisconsin OshKosh researchers revealed that domeheaded dinosaurs may have butted heads in combat
Pachycephalosaurs were plant eating dinosaurs that roamed during the Late Cretaceous Period. They grew large domes on their head made of bone, and the domes were often encircled by spikes.
Lots of animals scuffle over turf or mates. Bighorn sheep lock horns over territory and ewes.
Crocodiles are known to bite viciously at each other in squabbles.
T. rex bites
Even dinosaurs show evidence of fighting amongst themselves. Bite marks on juvenile T. rex fossils indicate that they may have bitten each other.
To understand pachycephalosaur behavior better, Joseph Peterson, a geology professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and his colleagues analyzed skulls from the dome-headed dinosaurs.
The team analyzed more than 100 skulls from museums around the world, using in-person analysis, high-resolution photographs, and CT scanning.
The team found that roughly 20 percent of the dinos had injuries, such as pit marks, on their skulls.
The pit marks bore a close resemblance to injuries found on bighorn sheep skeletons. In sheep, the pitting is caused when they butt heads in combat.
The boneheaded dinosaurs likely sustained their injuries when bashing their heads against rivals.
Those impacts may have broken the skin, causing infections.
Afterwards, skin infections may have then spread to the bone, causing permanent scarring.
Tia Ghose, Senior Writer
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.