Dinosaur of the Month: Pachycephalosaurus

Head. Most people and animals have one, and some even have two. It’s no surprise that dinosaurs – creatures that once graced the Earth and practiced stewardship over its lands and skies – also possessed this essential body part. 

One dinosaur in particular, namely, the Pachycephalosaurus, didn’t have just any ordinary head: it had a dome shaped head. h These dinosaurs, often referred to as dome-headed dinos, had a thick growth of bone over their brains, creating a unique head shape that likely resulted in severe insecurity and bullying from other species, yet served the valuable purpose of headbutting. The Pachycephalosaurus roamed current-day Mongolia (although the country had not yet gained its independence at this period in time) alongside other species of dinosaurs with similar head shapes. It’s important to note that Pachycephalosaurus fossils have also been found in North America from approximately 100 million to 65.5 million years ago. 

So, what makes the Pachycepholsaurus so special? Why this dino? Yes, its unique head shape is a thing of admiration and beauty. However, more than just a physical attribute, I see the dome-headed dinos as a symbol of resilience. Archaeologists and dinosaur scientists are able to use fossil records to determine attributes of dinosaurs such as physical features, age, and even race. Yet, one aspect of the dinosaur world that no scientist could ever figure out is their social dynamics. Most people alive today didn’t exist at the time of the dinosaurs, and analyzing fossil patterns – even taking into account the groupings of the fossils – serves as an incomplete methodology for examining the ways dinosaurs interacted with each other. 

Due to my fervent passion for dinosaurs, especially the Pachycephalosaurus, I have concluded that these dinos didn’t just happen to live in both North America AND Mongolia — rather, they were chased from their homeland of present-day Mongolia to present-day North America due to aggravated bullying incidents and continuous taunting over head shape. The discovery of the dome-headed dinos’ fossils in two vastly different continents couldn’t have been a coincidence, and it wasn’t. It’s a clear pattern of bullying-induced migration. Despite being pushed away (physically, emotionally, romantically, and socially), the Pachycephalosaurus is a persistent species, existing for over 40 million years. Its persistence to survive and make a home for itself in a hostile world is admirable (something to be admired). 

Another lens through which we can view the Pachycephalosaurus is one of technological development. While many believe that social media is a thing of the new age, this species of dinosaur proves otherwise. Due to a lack of buildings, schools, houses, and general architecture, much of the land occupied by the dome-headed dinos was barren or covered with trees. They had a lot of places to hide. If physical and verbal bullying were the only factors contributing to the taunting of the Pachycephalosaurus, it would have made the most sense for them to merely hide or walk away. That’s why I’m arguing that the dinosaurs of this time period did, indeed, have social media. You could hide from a bathroom bully, but can you really ever hide from your cell phone? Can you hide from head-shaming comments under your Instagram posts? Can you hide from anonymous emails with referral codes to HeadWatchers Head-Loss Program? No. The only solution to social media bullying is to travel far away, to a land that speaks a different language, has different people, and doesn’t share any mutuals with you on social media. The Pachycephalosaurus is an icon of resilience, growth, movement, technological development, and being admirable.

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