a plant-eating protoceratopsid ceratopsian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia.
First horned face
Granger and Gregory (1923
Gobi desert, Mongolia
(Andrew's first horn face)Etymology
is derived from the Greek "proto" (first), "ceras" (horn) and "ops" (face). Roy Chapman Andrews, who is honored in the species epithet
, declared this critter the "long-sought ancestor of Triceratops
" but it's no such thing. Granted, because of its frill it may appear to be closer to ceratopsids proper than, say, Psittacosaurus
, but protoceratopsids (Protoceratops
and family), ceratopsids (Triceratops
and family) and leptoceratopsids (Leptoceratops
and family) are all different branches within Neoceratopsia and non gave rise to the other.
The first fossils of Protoceratops
were discovered at Bayn Dzak ("Flaming Cliffs") in the
Djadochta Formation at Ganhu, Inner Mongolia, by photographer J.B. Shackelford during a 1922 Roy Chapman Andrews-led American Central Asiatic Expeditions to the Gobi Dessert whilst looking for human ancestors.
(AMNH 6251) is a well-preserved skeleton.
: Late Cretaceous
: 86-71 mya
Est. max. length
: 1.8 meters
Est. max. hip height
: 0.7 meters
Est. max. weight
: 180 Kg
• W. Granger and W. K. Gregory (1923) "Protoceratops andrewsi
, a pre-ceratopsian dinosaur from Mongolia, with an appendix on the structural relationships of the Protoceratops beds".
• O. Lambert, P. Godefroit, H. Li, C.Y. Shang and Z. Dong (2001) "A new species of Protoceratops
(Dinosauria, Neoceratopsia) from the Late Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia (P. R. China)".
• H. You and P. Dodson (2004) "Basal Ceratopsia"
in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition
• A. Mayor (2011) "The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times
• N. Longrich (2010) "The Function of Large Eyes in Protoceratops
: A Nocturnal Ceratopsian?" in Michael J. Ryan, Brenda J. Chinnery-Allgeier, and David A. Eberth "New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium
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