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Archaeoceratops

Archaeoceratops, the “ancient horned face”, was a genus of dinosaur from the early Cretaceous period. It was found in north central China. Two specimens were discovered in the Xinminbao Group, Gongpoquan Basin of the Mazong Shan area of Gansu Province, north central China. The type species A. oshimai was named by Dong Zhiming and Azuma in 1997. The discovery of A. oshimai consisted of a partial complete skeleton including skull, tail vertebrae, pelvis, and hind foot. The second specimen consisted of an incomplete skeleton and was slightly smaller than A. oshimai.

Archaeoceratops belonged to the group Ceratopsia (horned face). It was a bipedal dinosaur and rather small (about 39.5 inches long) with a large head. It was herbivorous and had a parrot-like beak. Unlike many of the later ceratopsians it didn’t have any horns. It had a small bony frill protruding from the back of the head.

Archaeoceratops most likely fed on ferns, cycads and conifers, as flowering plants were not geographically common during that era. It used its sharp beak to strip leaves and needles from branches.

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Archaeoceratops


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