Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the late Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago (mya) in what is now North America. It is one of the last known non-avian dinosaur genera, and became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. The name Triceratops, which literally means three-horned face.
Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on the skull, and its large four-legged body possessing similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best-known ceratopsid. It was also one of the largest, up to nine metres long and twelve tonnes in weight. It shared the landscape with and was probably preyed upon by Tyrannosaurus, though it is less certain that the two did battle in the fanciful manner often depicted in museum displays and popular images. The functions of the frills and three distinctive facial horns on its head have long inspired debate. Traditionally, these have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. More recent interpretations find it probable that these features were primarily used in species identification, courtship and dominance display, much like the antlers and horns of modern ungulates.