Protoceratops andrewsi

Meaning of name: First horned face

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Protoceratops was a herbivore.
LENGTH: 2 metres Protoceratops compared to a cat and a woman.
Protoceratops lived 85–70 million years ago, Late Cretaceous Click to view animal family tree Click to view animal family tree

Protoceratops andrewsi — a dinosaur with a frill

Protoceratops was a ceratopsian dinosaur, a horned and frilled dinosaur, and a relative of the much larger, three-horned Triceratops. Protoceratops was about the size of a sheep and was without horns, although it did have a frill on the back of its head. This may have been larger in males than females, and possibly played a part in courtship. It may have also been useful in enabling animals to recognise their own species and in establishing social dominance within a herd.

Hundreds of Protoceratops fossils have been collected in Central Asia in recent decades. It seems likely that the animals lived in large groups and congregated on the edges of lakes and rivers, where floods and droughts would have occasionally caused large numbers to die. The fossils include nests and eggs, recently hatched young, teenagers, and male and female adults. As a result, a great deal is known about the life stages of Protoceratops, and how the animal changed as it matured. For example, it is known that the head of a young Protoceratops was quite large in comparison to the rest of its body, which is true of many modern animals, including humans!

WHERE IT WAS FOUND The fossils of Protoceratops were discovered in Mongolia.


Four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs with armour plated skin or bony frills.
Other Armoured Dinosaurs and Frilled Dinosaurs