COTA 753: Animation Production
Sp 2003, Instructor: Maria Palazzi
Heather Caprette - Week One Report

This course focuses on producing an animation of a Nanotyrannus and a Triceratops based on the new fossil find of "Jane" by the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

My task is to model the body of the Triceratops. The head is being modeled by Brent Zorich.
Below is information I've collected from readings and images.

Ceratopsian Foot Structure:
Five fingers and four toes - all free. Fingers and toes bore large, flat hooves, except the outer two fingers (?-illustrations don't show a lack of nail on the outer fingers). Trackways indicate that the hands were separated by two hand widths from one another; hindfeet nearly touched midline. Limb joints are flexed, but somewhat less so as size increased. Probably could trot. Suspect slow gallop. Hind limbs were more robost than the front limbs and bore most of the weight.

Leg motion:
It's believed that the humerus which lies at an angle with the distal end pointing backwards, did not extend forward past vertical while galloping. It's believed that the femur did not flex past vertical.


A reptilian mosaic of large scales surrounding even larger scales.

Trunk short - belief that they reared up on hind limbs, like bears, to intimidate predators (with head tilted forward) or reach choice food items. Tyrannosaurs' goal was to deliver a bite to the rear quarters, either by ambush or intimidating the ceratopsian into a chase.

They were believed to travel in herds due to evidence found in trackways. Some believe they may have formed circles, enclosing their young, when confronted with predators. This behavior is observed in Musk Oxen when confronted with a pack of Wolves. One illustration shows a sleeping arrangement in which the ceratopsians try to face all directions of possible attack.

The horns and bosses were believed to be used for display purposes for mating as well as protection. Possibly locking of horns.

Maternal behavior: I believe I read that a larger triceratops skeleton was found above a smaller triceratops in Hell Creek. This might be interpreted as some sort of maternal behavior if both died at the same time.

View illustrations used for constructing a 3-D model in Maya