Dinosauria Online


PROTOCERATOPS (proh-toh-SAYR-ah-tops) "First Horned Face" (Greek protos = first + keratops = horned face, because it is the earliest known true CERATOPSIAN)

A pig-size, four-legged, plant-eating dinosaur with a turtle-like beak and small FRILL. The first of the true ceratopsians. Some had small bumps on their noses and others didn't. It is possible they represent males and females. Both were about the same SIZE, weighing about 900 pounds (410 kg) and measuring about 6 feet (1.8 m) from the tips of their snouts to the ends of their TAILS.
This forerunner of the horned dinosaurs was the first dinosaur known from every stage of life. From their potato shaped EGGS to full grown. Its eggs were the first dinosaur eggs ever found. Several of the NESTS contained hatchlings, and some of the eggs contained fragments of unhatched babies. Skulls and skeletons of adults were found nearby. Scientists had always assumed that dinosaurs were egg-laying REPTILES. This discovery proved for the first time that this was true. The rough-shelled eggs were found in bowl shaped nests that had been dug in sand. The eggs were 6 inches (15 cm) long and had been placed in rows around the sides of the bowl, then covered and separated by sand.
Protoceratops FOSSILS have been found in Late Cretaceous deposits in Mongolia.

Classification: Protoceratopsidae, Ceratopsia, Ornithischia