a psittacosaurid ceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Asia.
With a short and deep skull adorned with a beak it's hard to imagine H.F Osborn naming this Early Cretaceous critter anything other than "parrot lizard." What's a little harder to imagine is that this puny, common as muck, two-legged ceratopsian or horn-faced herbivore—ironically lacking anything in the horned-face department—was a progenitor of the Late Cretaceous ceratopsids, the largest of which were the size of three rhinos and needed four legs to support their stupendous mass.
(Parrot lizard from Mongolia)Etymology
is derived from the Greek "Psittakos" (parrot), because of the parrot-like profile of its skull, and "sauros" (lizard).
The species epithet
, means "from Mongolia" in Latin.
· Protiguanodon mongoliense
(Osborn, 1923), including Psittocosaurus protiguanodonensis
which is what C.C Young renamed this critter in 1958.
· Luanpingosaurus jingshanensis
(Cheng vide Chen, 1996)
· Hongshanosaurus houi
(You et al., 2003)
The first specimen of Psittacosaurus
— Psittacosaurus mongoliensis
— was discovered in the
"Cannonball Beds" of the Öösh Formation, Red Mesa, Artsa Bogdo (Oshih Basin), Övörkhangai Province, Mongolia, by the AMNH Third Asiatic Expedition to Mongolia of 1922. Species have since been discovered in Mongolia, Russia, right across China, and possibly Thailand.
(AMNH 6254) is a skeleton.
: Early Cretaceous
: 140-99 mya
Est. max. length
Est. max. hip height
Est. max. weight
A mind-boggling seventeen species have been assigned to
, with over 400 specimens between them, and whilst "only" nine (or maybe ten) are currently considered valid some experts believe this is still too many. Expect further pruning at some point.
• Psittacosaurus sinensis
(Young, 1958) - Holotype: IVPP V.738.
• Psittacosaurus meileyingensis
(Sereno et al., 1988) - Holoype: IVPP V7705.
• Psittacosaurus xinjiangensis
(Sereno & Zhao, 1988)
- Holoype: IVPP V7698.
• Psittacosaurus neimongoliensis
(Russell & Zhao, 1996) - Holoype: IVPP 12-0888-2.
• Psittacosaurus sibiricus
(Leshchinskiy et al., 2000) - Holoype: PM TGU 16/4-20.
• Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis
(Zhou et al., 2006) - Holoype: ZMNH M8137.
• Psittacosaurus major
(Sereno et al., 2007) - Holoype: LH PV1.
• Psittacosaurus gobiensis
(Sereno, Zhao and Lin, 2010)
- Holoype: LH PV2.
• Psittacosaurus sattayaraki (Buffetaut & Suteethorn, 1992) - Holotype: TF 2449a.
• Psittacosaurus mazongshanensis
(Xu, 1997) - Holotype: IVPP V12165.
• Psittacosaurus ordosensis
(Russell & Zhao, 1996) - Holoype: IVPP 07-08888-1.
• Psittacosaurus guyangensis
- a synonym of Psittacosaurus mongoliensis
• Psittocosaurus protiguanodonensis
(Young 1958) - originally
(Osborn, 1923) - a synonym of Psittocosaurus mongoliensis
• Psittacosaurus tingi
(Young 1931) - a synonym of Psittacosaurus osborni
• Psittacosaurus osborni
(Young 1931) - a synonym of Psittacosaurus mongoliensis
• Psittacosaurus youngi
(Chao 1962) - a synonym of Psittacosaurus sinensis
• Osborn, Henry F. (1923) "Two Lower Cretaceous dinosaurs of Mongolia
". American Museum Novitates 95: 1-10
• Paul C. Sereno (1992) "New data on parrot-beaked dinosaurs (Psittacosaurus
in Carpenter and Currie (eds.) "Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives
• Alexander O. Averianov, A.V. Voronkevich, S.V. Leshchinskiy & A.V. Fayngertz (2006) "A ceratopsian dinosaur Psittacosaurus sibiricus
from the Early Cretaceous of West Siberia, Russia and its phylogenetic relationships".
• Tracy L. Ford and Larry D. Martin (2010) "A semi-aquatic life habit for Psittacosaurus" in Ryan, Chinnery-Allgeier and Eberth "New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium
• You Hailu & Peter Dodson (2004) "Basal Ceratopsia" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska "The Dinosauria: Second Edition
• Paul C. Sereno, Zhao Xijin and Tan Lin (2009) "A new psittacosaur from Inner Mongolia and the parrot-like structure and function of the psittacosaur skull
• Paul C. Sereno (2010) "Taxonomy, Cranial Morphology, and Relationships of Parrot-Beaked Dinosaurs (Ceratopsia: Psittacosaurus
)" in Ryan, Chinnery-Allgeier and Eberth "New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium
• Zhao, Q., Benton, M.J., Xu, X., and Sander, M.J. (2013) "Juvenile-only clusters and behaviour of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur Psittacosaurus
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