Two protoceratops from a group fighting in the desert


Were the beak and clawed legs of Protoceratops fossil remains the origin of the lion bodied, eagle headed griffin of Greek legend? We know now that Protoceratops was an early type of horned dinosaur related to Triceratops. These herbivores would have been about the size of sheep and may have roamed in herds, devouring the vegetation of the time. Certainly, the finding of fossilised remains of many individuals in one place suggested herd behaviour. One of the two recognised finds of Protoceratops fossils was infamous for having a velociraptor skeleton wrapped around it as if locked in battle.

Scientific name: Protoceratops

Rank: Genus

Common names:

first horn face

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

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Cretaceous period Cretaceous period
The Cretaceous ended with the most famous mass extinction in history - the one that killed the dinosaurs. Prior to that, it was a warm period with no ice caps at the poles.

Fossil Folklore

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