Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT


Brachyceratops, or the “short horn-face” is a genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period. Its fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA. It has proven difficult to make an exact model of an adult specimen as only juvenile fossils have been discovered. It was first discovered in the Two Medicine Formation (a geologic formation deposited between 83.5 and 70.5 Mya), on a Blackfoot Indian Reservation in north-central Montana. The original find was made in 1913 by C.W. Gilmore and was described a year later.

Only the incomplete remains of five juvenile individuals were discovered, each about 5 feet in length. It is speculated that these juveniles were brood mates and remained together after hatching. A sub-adult was also found a mile away from the original site of the five juveniles. The fossils are located at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The only skull found was detached from the body and fragmented. Despite this, the skull showed that the animal had small bumps over the eyes instead of horns like other more well-known ceratopsians such as Triceratops.

This was an herbivorous dinosaur with a parrot-like beak that thrived in North America and Asia during the Late Cretaceous Period. All ceratopsians became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, which ended about 65 Mya (million years ago). It is assumed that this specimen fed on ferns, cycads, and conifers, as most flowering plants were geographically limited among the landscape. It would have used it sharp beak to bite off leaves and needles for food.

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