Psittacosaurus

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Quick Facts
NamePsittacosaurus
Diet
Weight68 kg
Length2 meters
Height0.6 meters
Period
Psittacosaurus
Human

Psittacosaurus was an extinct small herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. It existed between 123.2 and 100 million years ago. It was named by Henry Fairfield Osborn after the Latin word for parrot, Psittacus, as it had a parrot-like beak. And it was the earliest known ceratopsian. It probably ate plants such as cycads and other prehistoric plants with its hard hooked beak.

Psittacosaurus belonged to the Asian family Psittacosauridae, several species of which lived during the Early Cretaceous. It lived in Mongolia and China. This small animal did not look much like its later relatives, had short arms and long hands for grasping, and walked bipedally. It had a small head without a neck or horns with a high palate, flared cheekbones and a deep face with a parrot beak. Psittacosaurus had a small ridge on the back of its skull. It had no defense mechanism, but probably escaped from predators by running.

Psittacosaurus was the size of a large dog; it was about 2 meters long. This dinosaur skull was tall and narrow and was characterized by a small bone forming the upper beak.

Psittacosaurus was one of the best known dinosaur genera and was closer to Triceratops than to Yinlong. It reproduced by laying eggs.

Is a psittacosaurus a herbivore?

Definitely! Psittacosaurus was a small extinct herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. It probably ate plants such as cycads and other prehistoric plants with its hard hooked beak.

Did psittacosaurs live in herds?

Definitely! Psittacosaurs belonged to the ceratopsian dinosaurs and probably traveled in herds.

Where was the psittacosaurus found?

Psittacosaurus belonged to the Asian family Psittacosauridae, several species of which lived during the Early Cretaceous, and was found in Mongolia and China.

What does psittacosaurus mean?

Psittacosaurus was an extinct small herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. It was named by Henry Fairfield Osborn after the Latin word for parrot, Psittacus, as it had a parrot-like beak.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

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  • Sereno, Paul C, Zhao Xijin, Brown, Loren & Tan Lin. (2007). New psittacosaurid highlights skull enlargement in horned dinosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 52(2): 275-284.
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  • Sereno, Paul C., Zhao Xijin, Chang Zhengwu & Rao Chenggang. (1988). Psittacosaurus meileyingensis (Ornithischia: Ceratopsia), a new psittacosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of northeastern China. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 8: 366-377.
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  • Xu X. 1997. A new psittacosaur (Psittacosaurus mazongshanensis sp. nov.) from Mazongshan area, Gansu Province, China. In: Dong Z. (Ed.). Sino-Japanese Silk Road Dinosaur Expedition. Beijing: China Ocean Press. Pp. 48-67.
  • Leshchinskiy, S.V., Fayngertz, A.V., Voronkevich, A.V., Maschenko, E.N. & Averianov, A.O. 2000. Preliminary results of the investigation of the Shestakovo localities of Early Cretaceous vertebrates. In: Komarov, A.V. (Ed.). Materials of the Regional Conference of the Geologists of Siberia, Far East and North East of Russia. Tomsk: GalaPress. Pp. 363-366. [In Russian].
  • Zhou, C-F., Gao, K-Q., Fox, R.C., and Chen, S-H. 2006. "A New Species of Psittacosaurus (Dinosauria: Ceratopsia) from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation, Liaoning, China." Palaeoworld 15: 100-114.
  • Buffetaut, E. & Suteethorn, V. 1992. A new species of the ornithischian dinosaur. Psittacosaurus from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand. Palaeontology 35: 801-812.
  • Buffetaut, E. & Suteethorn, V. 2002. Remarks on Psittacosaurus sattayaraki Buffetaut & Suteethorn, 1992, a ceratopsian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand. Oryctos 4: 71-73.
  • Mayr, Gerald, Peters, D. Stephan, Plodowski, Gerhard & Vogel, Olaf. (2002). Bristle-like integumentary structures at the tail of the horned dinosaur. Psittacosaurus. Naturwissenschaften 89: 361-365.
  • Coombs, Walter P. (1982). Juvenile specimens of the ornithischian dinosaur. Psittacosaurus. Palaeontology 25: 89-107.
  • Meng Qingjin, Liu Jinyuan, Varrichio, David J., Huang, Timothy & Gao Chunling. (2004). Parental care in an ornithischian dinosaur. Nature 431: 145-146.
  • Erickson, G. M. and Tumanova, T. A. 2000. Growth curve and life history attributes of Psittacosaurus mongoliensis (Ceratopsia: Psittacosauridae) inferred from long bone histology. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 130:551-566.
  • Hu Y., Meng J., Wang Y., & Li C. 2005. Large Mesozoic mammals fed on dinosaurs. Nature 433: 149-152.
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Fun Facts

Hi, kids! Here are some fun and exciting facts about the Psittacosaurus.

 

  • Psittacosaurus means "parrot lizard".
  • It was a herbivore with beaks, many of which had frills on their necks and horns as well.
  • He lived in China, Mongolia and Siberia.
  • He could run at about 40 miles per hour.
  • Psittacosaurus weighed as much as an average human male.

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