|Now this dinosaur, the Dracorex, is something strange. Its name means the Dragon King of a fictional school for wizards. I think I could have come up with that myself. The name, not the dinosaur. For that we need the scientists.
Dracorex is a small 3.48 metre-long pachycephalosaurid from the Hell Creek Formation. It has a skull with spikes instead of a domed head. Like all pachycephalosaurs, it is a herbivore. The base genome of Dracorex is tan-brown colour, with black stripes on the legs and on the midsection and has a lighter white underbelly, similar to a Thomson's gazelle.
Dracorex lives in small groups of around four individuals. They don't like a crowded exhibit, but are relatively unfussy with how much forest and grassland is inside their enclosure. Dracorex can prove to be a challenge to contain in early parks as many players don't realize that its base social requirement requires a pair of them at the minimum, therefore the Dracorex breaks out as its comfort level becomes too low. It is therefore always best to wait until you have enough money to acquire two.
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Discovered in 2006, Dracorex was an exciting discovery at the time due to its unusual dragon-like appearance. The game's Dracorex species is Dracorex hogwartsia, which means 'Dragon King of Hogwarts', named in honour of Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry from the Harry Potter franchise. The name was decided by a group of visitors at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The flathead was reminiscent of other pachycephalosaur species such as Goyocephale, Homalocephale, and Wannanosaurus. These dinosaurs were once grouped under the now-defunct homalocephalidae branch. Dracorex was later grouped together with Stygimoloch and Pachycephalosaurus under the Pachycephalosaurini tribe.
However, later study of the well-known Stegoceras found that younger members of this genus had flatter heads before growing the distinctive bony dome of the pachycephalosauridae. This discovery brought scrutiny to the validity of flat-headed genera and others such as Stygimoloch. Two papers from 2009 and 2016 argued that Dracorex and Stygimoloch were in fact immature growth stages of Pachycephalosaurus, despite advanced ossification in the Dracorex holotype's vertebrae showing that it was almost fully grown. The debate still persists.
Dracorex lived alongside many other Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, including the hadrosaur Edmontosaurus, the ceratopsians Triceratops and Torosaurus, the armored Ankylosaurus, the ornithomimid Struthiomimus, as well as the theropods Troodon and Tyrannosaurus.
Behind the scenes
Dracorex was first revealed to be in Jurassic World Evolution in an IGN First Developer Diary on May 11, 2018.
- Dracorex on Wikipedia