Its name came from the popular Harry Potter book's school of magic, called Drakorex Hogwarsia and its no wonder we thought dragons were real up until the 1900s when you have an animal that looked like this.
It looked like something right out of midieval text. Drakorex had 3 inch spikes from its snout to 6 inch spikes on the back of its head. It was a very fast little dinosaur that stood around an average mans hip. Its thick crocodile like scales covered its body like armor. Funny enough, it sported a beak. Curving to a close in the front and still displaying grinding teeth in the back which proves that this animal was a herbivore. Its thick skull draped with spikes covering its entire top half of the skull was at first thought to have been used for head ramming. Much like we have seen in movies with Pachycephalosaurus in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". We all grew up loving the fact that these animals stood apart in an epic face/off and butted heads at full speed like modern day rams.
Ok now that we have taken a trip down memory lane, it's time for me to give you all a little insight on the reality of these animals.
First off...I hate to say it but these dinosaurs were not the beloved head rammers that we thought they were. Turns out, after paleontologist jack Horner preformed a scan of the animals skull they found that the bone was solid all the way through. This is alone shows that if these animals tried to ram each other head on it would knock them unconscious or break their necks.
Modern day mountain rams have giant spiral horns that we are all familiar with. Brutally bashing their heads together over a female, Territory or dominance. Here is the difference. Rams horn are not made of solid bone. In fact they are semi hollow. The outside is covered in keratin, which is what our hair and finger nails are made of. Then you have the bone layer beneath that fallowed by an air pocket. And under the is a tube of flesh and skin.
So with this air pocket and flesh, it gives the animal a little bit of cushion on impact. Kind of like an airbag during a crash to protect the brain. The Dracorex, Stygimoloch and Pachycephalosaurus were not equipped with this ramming design. So if these animals butted heads it could very well have killed them because the impact would have gone straight to the brain with no filter. MASSIVE BRAIN TRAUMA! Sorry to kill that part of our childhood but its something that must be brought to light.
One last thing. Paleontologist Jack Horner has also discovered some striking similarities between the Dracorex, Stygimoloch and Pachycephalosaurus. Very close similarities. The animals have the same type of dome structure when you put them next to each other. Even all of the spikes are in the same positions and areas, Just different lengths. The only main difference is that the larger Pachycephalosaurus skull has a very large dome and small wide spikes in the back of its head where as the Drakorex has a very small dome with large long spikes coming out the back.
Horner and many other paleontologists believe that these animals are actually the same dinosaur. Just at different stages of its life. The dome grows as the animal grows and the large head spike recede as it gets older as well. We see this trait in a lot of modern day birds, where the chick looks like a completely different species from its adult parents.
So there it is! The Real life dragon Drakorex Hogwarsia, was actually just a juvenile Pachycephalosaurus. We also know it was a juvenile because its skull still has the line separating the left side of the skull from the right. It had not yet fused together. And there amazing head displays were used for just that...Display. Most likely brightly colored and used for attracting a mate.
Sorry inner child.