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'''The Earliest American Ceratopsian:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''

to:

'''The Earliest American Ceratopsian:''' Horns:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''


'''The Earliest Jurassic Kinds:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinlong Yinlong]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaoyangsaurus Chaoyangsaurus]]''

to:

'''The Earliest Jurassic Kinds:''' '''Ceratopsians?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinlong Yinlong]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaoyangsaurus Chaoyangsaurus]]''


'''A Proto-Sheep ot the Late Cretaceous:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''

to:

'''A Proto-Sheep ot of the Late Cretaceous:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''


'''Proto-Sheep?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''

to:

'''Proto-Sheep?:''' '''A Proto-Sheep ot the Late Cretaceous:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''


'''The Missing Link:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''

to:

'''The Missing Link:''' Earliest American Ceratopsian:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''


Among the chosen examples you can tell the closest-to-ceratopsids apart from the most basal kinds by simply reading their names: the former have usually the suffix -ceratops (ex. ''Udanoceratops'', ''Zuniceratops''), the latter usually end in other ways (ex. ''Chaoyangsaurus'', ''Yinlong'').

to:

Among the chosen examples you can tell the closest-to-ceratopsids apart from the most basal kinds by simply reading their names: the former have usually the suffix -ceratops (ex. ''Udanoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Zuniceratops''), the latter usually end in other ways (ex. ''Chaoyangsaurus'', ''Yinlong'').



'''Horned muzzles?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagaceratops Bagaceratops]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montanoceratops Montanoceratops]]''

* The semi-bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' lived in Late Cretaceous North America together with the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"). The latter was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.

to:

'''Horned muzzles?:''' '''Proto-Sheep?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagaceratops Bagaceratops]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montanoceratops Montanoceratops]]''

org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''

* The semi-bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' lived in Late Cretaceous North America together with Try to tell everyone if the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"). The latter was originally classified in "sheep of the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. Cretaceous", ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the Protoceratopsids; now same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsians in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''Psittacosaurus''; like the former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has it too was claimed to have been recently put a sort of "proto-sheep", this time not for being very common in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable fossil record but because was literally confronted with a sheep by one scientist in TheEighties. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only former, was notably slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill with huge cheek-spikes. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one meter long, shorter might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than ''Protoceratops'', at the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', very end of the Cretaceous (the Maastrichtian stage); and roamed North-America, not Asia, where ceratopsians started their evolution, thus sharing the lands with ''Triceratops'' and ''Torosaurus''. But for some reason, it had a particularly short frill preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. Like ''Protoceratops'' and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived ''Psittacosaurus'', ''Leptoceratops'' could appear a quite harmless creature in sheltered environments to hidden itself against a world populated by gigantic predators dinosaurs: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws able to deliver strong bites, and there's also the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.
''Psittacosaurus''.



'''Cousins in the Deep South?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serendipaceratops Serendipaceratops]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notoceratops Notoceratops]]''

* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus australis"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.

to:

'''Cousins in the Deep South?:''' '''Tiny Two-legged Trike:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serendipaceratops Serendipaceratops]]'' org/wiki/Microceratus Microceratus]]''

* Despite their partial bipedality, ''Psittacosaurus''
and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notoceratops Notoceratops]]''

* All confirmed
''Leptoceratops'' were still robust guys compared with the “gazelle dinosaur” ''Hypsilophodon'' or the tusked ''Heterodontosaurus''. But they had also some slimmer relatives, which if they have had a normal-looking head, they’re surely be mistaken for ornithopods. The most historically relevant was aptly called “Microceratops” ("small horned face"). From Ancient China like the [[RunningGag prototypical]] ''[[RunningGag Protoceratops]]'', it was discovered in the 1950s by an european scientist, and was also originally put in the Protoceratopsid family like ''Leptoceratops''. "Microceratops" was long believed the smallest of all the ceratopsians; now the record is disputed by other relatives. It remains one of the smallest dinosaurs ever, only the size of a rooster. It was arguably a more quick-moving animal than most other ceratopsians have been found thanks to its size and agile legs. Its head was unmistakeably (proto)ceratopsian, with any hint of "horns" or "bumps". Very poorly-known scientifically-speaking, “Microceratops” has now fallen in disuse being preoccupied by a modern insect (a parasitic wasp): [[ScienceMarchesOn we now need]] to call it ''Microceratus'' ("the small horned-one"). Still, it has appeared in some popular works made before the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially name-change, namely the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all first ''Jurassic Park'' novel (here it's the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed smallest cloned dinosaur, but inaccurately portrayed as a tree-climber), and Disney's ''Dinosaur'' -- this time as the only two exceptions smallest species of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus australis"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.
migrating dinosaur herd.



[[/folder]]

[[folder:Intermediate Forms]]

to:

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Intermediate Forms]]
'''Horned Muzzles?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagaceratops Bagaceratops]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montanoceratops Montanoceratops]]''

* The semi-bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' lived in Late Cretaceous North America together with the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"). The latter was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.



'''The missing link:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''

* Differences between Proto-ceratopsids and Real-ceratopsids are considerable. There ''should'' have been at least one intermediate form between the two: how could it have looked? In 1998, the answer was found under the name ''Zuniceratops'' (which has detained the record of “the last member of the Dinosaur Alphabet” for some years). The most ancient North American ceratopsian, from Middle Cretaceous, it was only 4 m long (less than half a ''Triceratops''), and had a mixed ''Triceratops'' / ''Protoceratops'' appearance: two long frontal horns like the former, and none on the nose like the latter. This MixAndMatchCritter look surprised scientists, which used to think frontal horns were a very evolved trait of some advanced ceratopsids - while the nasal one was believed the most ancient horn in ceratopsid’s history. The ancestry of the frontal horns was confirmed in the 2000s, when some early centrosaurine true ceratopsids (the no-frontal-horns subfamily) showed long frontal horns like those of a chasmosaurine, ex. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Albertaceratops]]''. Now scientists think later centrosaurines (''Centrosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Pachyrhinosaurus'', and so on) reduced secondarily the length of these horns. There was also a chasmosaurine which eliminated its nasal horn, resembling a ''Zuniceratops''; this one is variably classified either as a odd-looking ''Triceratops'' species (''Triceratops hatcheri'', named after John Hatcher, one of Marsh's main collaborators) or a separate genus, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedoceratops Nedoceratops]]'', originally called "Diceratops" ("two-horned face") or "Diceratus" -- the name "Diceratops" was pre-occupied by an insect and had the same fate of "Microceratops".

to:

'''The missing link:''' '''Cousins in the South?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''

* Differences between Proto-ceratopsids
org/wiki/Serendipaceratops Serendipaceratops]]'' and Real-ceratopsids are considerable. There ''should'' have been at least one intermediate form between the two: how could it have looked? In 1998, the answer was found under the name ''Zuniceratops'' (which has detained the record of “the last member of the Dinosaur Alphabet” for some years). The most ancient North American ceratopsian, from Middle Cretaceous, it was only 4 m long (less than half a ''Triceratops''), and had a mixed ''Triceratops'' / ''Protoceratops'' appearance: two long frontal horns like the former, and none on the nose like the latter. This MixAndMatchCritter look surprised scientists, which used to think frontal horns were a very evolved trait of some advanced ceratopsids - while the nasal one was believed the most ancient horn in ceratopsid’s history. The ancestry of the frontal horns was confirmed in the 2000s, when some early centrosaurine true ceratopsids (the no-frontal-horns subfamily) showed long frontal horns like those of a chasmosaurine, ex. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Albertaceratops]]''. Now scientists think later centrosaurines (''Centrosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Pachyrhinosaurus'', and so on) reduced secondarily the length of these horns. There was also a chasmosaurine which eliminated its nasal horn, resembling a ''Zuniceratops''; this one is variably classified either as a odd-looking ''Triceratops'' species (''Triceratops hatcheri'', named after John Hatcher, one of Marsh's main collaborators) or a separate genus, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedoceratops Nedoceratops]]'', originally called "Diceratops" ("two-horned face") or "Diceratus" -- org/wiki/Notoceratops Notoceratops]]''

* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in
the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus australis"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name "Diceratops" it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was pre-occupied by an insect and had the same fate of "Microceratops".
ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.



'''The earliest Jurassic kinds:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinlong Yinlong]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaoyangsaurus Chaoyangsaurus]]''

* Another, even more important missing-link was found as recently as the 2006: following the current trend about Chinese dinos’ naming, it was called ''Yinlong'' ("hidden dragon"). Living in Late Jurassic, it took the "most primitive ceratopsian" record away from ''Psittacosaurus''. Its external appearence was the least ''Triceratops''-like one can imagine: ''Yinlong'' was not only totally bipedal, but had neither any parrot-bill, nor spiky cheeks. Its only ceratopsian trait is a merely anatomical one: the “rostral bone” at the tip of its upper jaw, present in all ceratopsians and in no other dinosaur group. To compensate, ''Yinlong'' had small “canines”: this, together with its size (4 ft long) and shape, makes it quite similar to the basal ornithischian ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Heterodontosaurus]]''. Indeed, this resemblance was once cited as the definitive proof that heterodontosaurids were not ornithopods but ancient relatives of ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs, but now the latter is disputed. Many new basal ceratopsians have been described since the 1990s both in Asia and in North America. Some were related with the examples listed above: for example, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udanoceratops Udanoceratops]]'' (one of the largest, twice longer than a Protoceratops) was close to ''Leptoceratops'' but living in Asia; ''Asiaceratops'' was also an [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Asian]] Leptoceratops-relative; ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciliceratops Graciliceratops]]'' ("gracile horned face") was similar to ''Microceratops'', and some alleged "microceratops" remains actually belonged to it; ''Breviceratops'' ("short horned face") was originally considered a second ''Protoceratops'' species; while ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanoceratops Turanoceratops]]'' from Central Asia was perhaps close to ''Zuniceratops'' and maybe one of the ceratopsids' ancestors. But others guys have revealed to be more primitive, if not at the same degree of ''Yinlong''. Two of them have become the namesakes of their own family: the Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoceratops Archaeoceratops]]'' ("ancient horned face"), was a sort of middle-way between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Leptoceratops'' - the same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auroraceratops Auroraceratops]]'' "dawn horned face", which had an unusually-shaped skull; the second is the Late Jurassic ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (originally called "Chaoyoungosaurus" or "Chaoyangosaurus"). Described in 1983, ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (and its closest relative ''Xuanhuaceratops'', originailly named "Xuanhuasaurus" in 1986) initially were believed the earliest pachycephalosaurians, both from China; but they have then been revealed being very archaic ceratopsians between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Yinlong''. Still mysterious is the identity of the poorly-known Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopelix Stenopelix]]'', whose pelvis was found in Europe in the XIX century.

to:

'''The earliest Jurassic kinds:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinlong Yinlong]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaoyangsaurus Chaoyangsaurus]]''

* Another, even more important missing-link was found as recently as the 2006: following the current trend about Chinese dinos’ naming, it was called ''Yinlong'' ("hidden dragon"). Living in Late Jurassic, it took the "most primitive ceratopsian" record away from ''Psittacosaurus''. Its external appearence was the least ''Triceratops''-like one can imagine: ''Yinlong'' was not only totally bipedal, but had neither any parrot-bill, nor spiky cheeks. Its only ceratopsian trait is a merely anatomical one: the “rostral bone” at the tip of its upper jaw, present in all ceratopsians and in no other dinosaur group. To compensate, ''Yinlong'' had small “canines”: this, together with its size (4 ft long) and shape, makes it quite similar to the basal ornithischian ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Heterodontosaurus]]''. Indeed, this resemblance was once cited as the definitive proof that heterodontosaurids were not ornithopods but ancient relatives of ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs, but now the latter is disputed. Many new basal ceratopsians have been described since the 1990s both in Asia and in North America. Some were related with the examples listed above: for example, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udanoceratops Udanoceratops]]'' (one of the largest, twice longer than a Protoceratops) was close to ''Leptoceratops'' but living in Asia; ''Asiaceratops'' was also an [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Asian]] Leptoceratops-relative; ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciliceratops Graciliceratops]]'' ("gracile horned face") was similar to ''Microceratops'', and some alleged "microceratops" remains actually belonged to it; ''Breviceratops'' ("short horned face") was originally considered a second ''Protoceratops'' species; while ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanoceratops Turanoceratops]]'' from Central Asia was perhaps close to ''Zuniceratops'' and maybe one of the ceratopsids' ancestors. But others guys have revealed to be more primitive, if not at the same degree of ''Yinlong''. Two of them have become the namesakes of their own family: the Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoceratops Archaeoceratops]]'' ("ancient horned face"), was a sort of middle-way between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Leptoceratops'' - the same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auroraceratops Auroraceratops]]'' "dawn horned face", which had an unusually-shaped skull; the second is the Late Jurassic ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (originally called "Chaoyoungosaurus" or "Chaoyangosaurus"). Described in 1983, ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (and its closest relative ''Xuanhuaceratops'', originailly named "Xuanhuasaurus" in 1986) initially were believed the earliest pachycephalosaurians, both from China; but they have then been revealed being very archaic ceratopsians between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Yinlong''. Still mysterious is the identity of the poorly-known Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopelix Stenopelix]]'', whose pelvis was found in Europe in the XIX century.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Intermediate Forms]]


Added DiffLines:

'''The Missing Link:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuniceratops Zuniceratops]]''

* Differences between Proto-ceratopsids and Real-ceratopsids are considerable. There ''should'' have been at least one intermediate form between the two: how could it have looked? In 1998, the answer was found under the name ''Zuniceratops'' (which has detained the record of “the last member of the Dinosaur Alphabet” for some years). The most ancient North American ceratopsian, from Middle Cretaceous, it was only 4 m long (less than half a ''Triceratops''), and had a mixed ''Triceratops'' / ''Protoceratops'' appearance: two long frontal horns like the former, and none on the nose like the latter. This MixAndMatchCritter look surprised scientists, which used to think frontal horns were a very evolved trait of some advanced ceratopsids - while the nasal one was believed the most ancient horn in ceratopsid’s history. The ancestry of the frontal horns was confirmed in the 2000s, when some early centrosaurine true ceratopsids (the no-frontal-horns subfamily) showed long frontal horns like those of a chasmosaurine, ex. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Albertaceratops]]''. Now scientists think later centrosaurines (''Centrosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Pachyrhinosaurus'', and so on) reduced secondarily the length of these horns. There was also a chasmosaurine which eliminated its nasal horn, resembling a ''Zuniceratops''; this one is variably classified either as a odd-looking ''Triceratops'' species (''Triceratops hatcheri'', named after John Hatcher, one of Marsh's main collaborators) or a separate genus, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedoceratops Nedoceratops]]'', originally called "Diceratops" ("two-horned face") or "Diceratus" -- the name "Diceratops" was pre-occupied by an insect and had the same fate of "Microceratops".

----

'''The Earliest Jurassic Kinds:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinlong Yinlong]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaoyangsaurus Chaoyangsaurus]]''

* Another, even more important missing-link was found as recently as the 2006: following the current trend about Chinese dinos’ naming, it was called ''Yinlong'' ("hidden dragon"). Living in Late Jurassic, it took the "most primitive ceratopsian" record away from ''Psittacosaurus''. Its external appearence was the least ''Triceratops''-like one can imagine: ''Yinlong'' was not only totally bipedal, but had neither any parrot-bill, nor spiky cheeks. Its only ceratopsian trait is a merely anatomical one: the “rostral bone” at the tip of its upper jaw, present in all ceratopsians and in no other dinosaur group. To compensate, ''Yinlong'' had small “canines”: this, together with its size (4 ft long) and shape, makes it quite similar to the basal ornithischian ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Heterodontosaurus]]''. Indeed, this resemblance was once cited as the definitive proof that heterodontosaurids were not ornithopods but ancient relatives of ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs, but now the latter is disputed. Many new basal ceratopsians have been described since the 1990s both in Asia and in North America. Some were related with the examples listed above: for example, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udanoceratops Udanoceratops]]'' (one of the largest, twice longer than a Protoceratops) was close to ''Leptoceratops'' but living in Asia; ''Asiaceratops'' was also an [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Asian]] Leptoceratops-relative; ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciliceratops Graciliceratops]]'' ("gracile horned face") was similar to ''Microceratops'', and some alleged "microceratops" remains actually belonged to it; ''Breviceratops'' ("short horned face") was originally considered a second ''Protoceratops'' species; while ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanoceratops Turanoceratops]]'' from Central Asia was perhaps close to ''Zuniceratops'' and maybe one of the ceratopsids' ancestors. But others guys have revealed to be more primitive, if not at the same degree of ''Yinlong''. Two of them have become the namesakes of their own family: the Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoceratops Archaeoceratops]]'' ("ancient horned face"), was a sort of middle-way between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Leptoceratops'' - the same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auroraceratops Auroraceratops]]'' "dawn horned face", which had an unusually-shaped skull; the second is the Late Jurassic ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (originally called "Chaoyoungosaurus" or "Chaoyangosaurus"). Described in 1983, ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (and its closest relative ''Xuanhuaceratops'', originailly named "Xuanhuasaurus" in 1986) initially were believed the earliest pachycephalosaurians, both from China; but they have then been revealed being very archaic ceratopsians between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Yinlong''. Still mysterious is the identity of the poorly-known Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopelix Stenopelix]]'', whose pelvis was found in Europe in the XIX century.

----


* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.

to:

* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]])."Kritosaurus australis"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.



* Differences between Proto-ceratopsids and Real-ceratopsids are considerable. There ''should'' have been at least one intermediate form between the two: how could it have looked? In 1998, the answer was found under the name ''Zuniceratops'' (which has detained the record of “the last member of the Dinosaur Alphabet” for some years). The most ancient North American ceratopsian, from Middle Cretaceous, it was only 4 m long (less than half a ''Triceratops''), and had a mixed ''Triceratops'' / ''Protoceratops'' appearance: two long frontal horns like the former, and none on the nose like the latter. This MixAndMatchCritter look surprised scientists, which used to think frontal horns were a very evolved trait of some advanced ceratopsids - while the nasal one was believed the most ancient horn in ceratopsid’s history. The ancestry of the frontal horns was confirmed in the 2000s, when some early centrosaurine true ceratopsids (the no-frontal-horns subfamily) showed long frontal horns like those of a chasmosaurine, ex. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Diabloceratops]]''. Now scientists think later centrosaurines (''Centrosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Pachyrhinosaurus'', and so on) reduced secondarily the length of these horns. There was also a chasmosaurine which eliminated its nasal horn, resembling a ''Zuniceratops''; this one is variably classified either as a odd-looking ''Triceratops'' species (''Triceratops hatcheri'', named after John Hatcher, one of Marsh's main collaborators) or a separate genus, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedoceratops Nedoceratops]]'', originally called "Diceratops" ("two-horned face") or "Diceratus" -- the name "Diceratops" was pre-occupied by an insect and had the same fate of "Microceratops".

to:

* Differences between Proto-ceratopsids and Real-ceratopsids are considerable. There ''should'' have been at least one intermediate form between the two: how could it have looked? In 1998, the answer was found under the name ''Zuniceratops'' (which has detained the record of “the last member of the Dinosaur Alphabet” for some years). The most ancient North American ceratopsian, from Middle Cretaceous, it was only 4 m long (less than half a ''Triceratops''), and had a mixed ''Triceratops'' / ''Protoceratops'' appearance: two long frontal horns like the former, and none on the nose like the latter. This MixAndMatchCritter look surprised scientists, which used to think frontal horns were a very evolved trait of some advanced ceratopsids - while the nasal one was believed the most ancient horn in ceratopsid’s history. The ancestry of the frontal horns was confirmed in the 2000s, when some early centrosaurine true ceratopsids (the no-frontal-horns subfamily) showed long frontal horns like those of a chasmosaurine, ex. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Diabloceratops]]''.Albertaceratops]]''. Now scientists think later centrosaurines (''Centrosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Pachyrhinosaurus'', and so on) reduced secondarily the length of these horns. There was also a chasmosaurine which eliminated its nasal horn, resembling a ''Zuniceratops''; this one is variably classified either as a odd-looking ''Triceratops'' species (''Triceratops hatcheri'', named after John Hatcher, one of Marsh's main collaborators) or a separate genus, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedoceratops Nedoceratops]]'', originally called "Diceratops" ("two-horned face") or "Diceratus" -- the name "Diceratops" was pre-occupied by an insect and had the same fate of "Microceratops".


* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Minmi]]''.

to:

* All confirmed ceratopsians have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia - expecially the earlier basal forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Minmi]]''.


* Another relative which lived along ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' was the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.

to:

* Another relative which lived along * The semi-bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' was lived in Late Cretaceous North America together with the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which beak"). The latter was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.



* All confirmed ceratopsids (and ceratopsians in general) have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia (expecially the earlier basal forms) or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Minmi]]''.

to:

* All confirmed ceratopsids (and ceratopsians in general) have been found in the Northern Emisphere, either in Asia (expecially - expecially the earlier basal forms) forms - or in North America (almost-all the [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids horned ones]]). The two animals here were believed the only two exceptions of the rule. ''Notoceratops'' ("southern horned face" indeed) was found in South America in year 1918, and traditionally believed a Late Cretaceous protoceratopsian which migrated in South America from North America (like some contemporary ornithopods, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurs "Kritosaurus"]]). But its only remain, a piece of jaw, could be from an ornithopod instead. The Early Cretaceous ''Serendipaceratops'', on the other hand, was found in Australia in 2003 by the two palaeontologists that described ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors Leaellynasaura]]'' in 1989. Initially, the discoverers had not considered that its only remain (a forearm bone) might have been ceratopsian, as at this would have been the last group of dinosaurs one would have expected to find in the LandDownUnder -- to the point they thought it was from a theropod. Some months later, however, another colleague pointed out the similarity to this bone of the more-known ''Leptoceratops'', and they decided to name it with the MeaningfulName ''Serendipaceratops''. However, the remain is too incomplete to confidentally be placed in any known ornithischian group, and some think it was an ankylosaur like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Minmi]]''.


[[folder:Intermediate forms]]

to:

[[folder:Intermediate forms]]
Forms]]


Among the chosen examples you can tell the closest-to-ceratopsids apart from the most basal kinds by simply reading their names: the former have usually the suffix -ceratops (ex. ''Leptoceratops'', ''Udanoceratops'', ''Zuniceratops''), the latter usually end in other ways (ex. ''Chaoyangsaurus'', ''Yinlong'').

to:

Among the chosen examples you can tell the closest-to-ceratopsids apart from the most basal kinds by simply reading their names: the former have usually the suffix -ceratops (ex. ''Leptoceratops'', ''Udanoceratops'', ''Zuniceratops''), the latter usually end in other ways (ex. ''Chaoyangsaurus'', ''Yinlong'').



'''The "sheep" of the Cretaceous:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratops Leptoceratops]]''

* Try to tell everyone if ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Protoceratops]]'', "the Sheep of the Cretaceous", was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsians in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Psittacosaurus]]''; like the former, it too was compared with a sheep, but not for being very common in fossil record as ''Protoceratops'', but because was ''literally'' confronted with a sheep by one scientist. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the former, was much slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill. Compensating all this, its cheek-spikes were huge. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than ''Protoceratops'', at the very end of the Cretaceous; and roamed North-America, not Asia (where ceratopsians started their evolution), thus sharing the lands with ''Triceratops''. But for some reason, it had preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. ''Leptoceratops'' should have been a quite harmless creature in its world populated by much more gigantic dinosaurs of every kind: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws like ''Protoceratops'', and there's the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the earlier ''Psittacosaurus''.

----



* Another relative which lived along ''Leptoceratops'' was the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.

to:

* Another relative which lived along ''Leptoceratops'' ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Leptoceratops]]'' was the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.


* Try to tell everyone if ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Protoceratops]]'', "the Sheep of the Cretaceous", was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsian in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Psittacosaurus]]''; like the former, it too was compared with a sheep, but not for being very common in fossil record as ''Protoceratops'', but because was ''literally'' confronted with a sheep by one scientist. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the former, was much slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill. Compensating all this, its cheek-spikes were huge. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than ''Protoceratops'', at the very end of the Cretaceous; and roamed North-America, not Asia (where ceratopsians started their evolution), thus sharing the lands with ''Triceratops''. But for some reason, it had preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. ''Leptoceratops'' should have been a quite harmless creature in its world populated by much more gigantic dinosaurs of every kind: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws like ''Protoceratops'', and there's the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the earlier ''Psittacosaurus''.

to:

* Try to tell everyone if ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Protoceratops]]'', "the Sheep of the Cretaceous", was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsian ceratopsians in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Psittacosaurus]]''; like the former, it too was compared with a sheep, but not for being very common in fossil record as ''Protoceratops'', but because was ''literally'' confronted with a sheep by one scientist. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the former, was much slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill. Compensating all this, its cheek-spikes were huge. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than ''Protoceratops'', at the very end of the Cretaceous; and roamed North-America, not Asia (where ceratopsians started their evolution), thus sharing the lands with ''Triceratops''. But for some reason, it had preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. ''Leptoceratops'' should have been a quite harmless creature in its world populated by much more gigantic dinosaurs of every kind: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws like ''Protoceratops'', and there's the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the earlier ''Psittacosaurus''.


* Try to tell everyone if ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Protoceratops]]'', "the Sheep of the Cretaceous", was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsian in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Psittacosaurus]]''; like the former, it too was compared with a sheep, but not for being very common in fossil record as ''Protoceratops'', but because was ''literally'' confronted with a sheep by one scientist. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the former, was much slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill. Compensating all this, its cheek-spikes were huge. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than ''Protoceratops'', at the very end of the Cretaceous; and roamed North-America, not Asia (where ceratopsians started their evolution), thus sharing the lands with ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Triceratops]]''. But for some reason, it had preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. ''Leptoceratops'' should have been a quite harmless creature in its world populated by much more gigantic dinosaurs of every kind: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws like ''Protoceratops'', and there's the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the earlier ''Psittacosaurus''.

to:

* Try to tell everyone if ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Protoceratops]]'', "the Sheep of the Cretaceous", was really sheep-like. If you manage to do it, then try with this: ''Leptoceratops gracilis'', the same length of ''Protoceratops'' but ''partially bipedal''. ''Leptoceratops'' ("slender horned face") has probably been the most common basal ceratopsian in docu-media after ''Protoceratops'' & ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Psittacosaurus]]''; like the former, it too was compared with a sheep, but not for being very common in fossil record as ''Protoceratops'', but because was ''literally'' confronted with a sheep by one scientist. ''Leptoceratops'' was the very first small-sized ceratopsian discovered: 1910s, a decade before ''Protoceratops'' and ''Psittacosaurus'', and has often be considered as an intermediate form between the two. Compared with ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'' was not only hornless but also without the "bump" on its nose of the former, was much slimmer-bodied, longer-legged, and with a much smaller frill. Compensating all this, its cheek-spikes were huge. There is a surprising thing at this point: contrary to what one might expect, ''Leptoceratops'' lived ''later'' than ''Protoceratops'', at the very end of the Cretaceous; and roamed North-America, not Asia (where ceratopsians started their evolution), thus sharing the lands with ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Triceratops]]''.''Triceratops''. But for some reason, it had preserved the archaic bodyplan of its primitive ancestors. ''Leptoceratops'' should have been a quite harmless creature in its world populated by much more gigantic dinosaurs of every kind: however, it had extremely powerful & massive beaked jaws like ''Protoceratops'', and there's the possibility it had pointy quills on its tail like the earlier ''Psittacosaurus''.



* Another relative which lived along ''Leptoceratops'' was the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''Microceratus'' (see below), it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.

to:

* Another relative which lived along ''Leptoceratops'' was the quadrupedal ''Montanoceratops cerorhynchos'' ("horned face from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Montana]] with a horned beak"), which was originally classified in the 1940s as a new ''Leptoceratops'' species. Slightly bigger than ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'' was once depicted with a small nasal horn like a miniature ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Centrosaurus]]'': [[ScienceMarchesOn we now know]] it hadn't such a thing -- the bone believed a horn was actually misplaced in the fossil. ''Protoceratops'', ''Leptoceratops'', ''Montanoceratops'', and other animals made once one family, the Protoceratopsids; now ''Leptoceratops'' and ''Montanoceratops'' make their own family, Leptoceratopsids, together with other more recently-found animals such as ''Udanoceratops'', ''Asiaceratops'', and ''Prenoceratops''. Another former protoceratopsid, Asian ''Bagaceratops'', has been recently put in its own family as well: Bagaceratopsids, together with other less-known genera such as ''Breviceratops'', ''Magnirostris'', and the unusually european ''Ajkaceratops''. Found in Mongolia in the 1970s, ''Bagaceratops'' is notable because was one of the smallest quadrupedal dinosaurs that ever lived: only one meter long, shorter than a ''Compsognathus'', yet still a bit bigger than the bipedal ''Microceratus'' (see below), ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Microceratus]]'', it had a particularly short frill and an uncospicuous "hornlet" on its nose. Being so vulnerable, ''Bagaceratops'' might have lived in sheltered environments to hidden itself against gigantic predators like the contemporaneous ''Tarbosaurus''.



* Another, even more important missing-link was found as recently as the 2006: following the current trend about Chinese dinos’ naming, it was called ''Yinlong'' ("hidden dragon"). Living in Late Jurassic, it took the "most primitive ceratopsian" record away from ''Psittacosaurus''. Its external appearence was the least ''Triceratops''-like one can imagine: ''Yinlong'' was not only totally bipedal, but had neither any parrot-bill, nor spiky cheeks. Its only ceratopsian trait is a merely anatomical one: the “rostral bone” at the tip of its upper jaw, present in all ceratopsians and in no other dinosaur group. To compensate, ''Yinlong'' had small “canines”: this, together with its size (4 ft long) and shape, makes it quite similar to the basal ornithischian ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Heterodontosaurus]]''. Indeed, this resemblance was once cited as the definitive proof that heterodontosaurids were not ornithopods but ancient relatives of ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs, but now the latter is disputed. Many new basal ceratopsians have been described since the 1990s both in Asia and in North America. Some were related with the examples listed above: for example, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udanoceratops Udanoceratops]]'' (one of the largest, twice longer than a Protoceratops) was close to ''Leptoceratops'' but living in Asia; ''Asiaceratops'' was also an [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Asian]] Leptoceratops-relative; ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciliceratops Graciliceratops]]'' ("gracile horned face") was similar to ''Microceratops'', and some alleged "microceratops" remains actually belonged to it; ''Breviceratops'' ("short horned face") was originally considered a second ''Protoceratops'' species; while ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanoceratops Turanoceratops]]'' from Central Asia was perhaps close to ''Zuniceratops'' and maybe one of the ceratopsids' ancestors. But others guys have revealed to be more primitive, if not at the same degree of ''Yinlong''. Two of them have become the namesakes of their own family: the Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoceratops Archaeoceratops]]'' ("ancient horned face"), was a sort of middle-way between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Leptoceratops'' - the same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auroraceratops Auroraceratops]]'' "dawn horned face", which had an unusually-shaped skull; the second is the Late Jurassic ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (originally called "Chaoyoungosaurus" or "Chaoyangosaurus"). Described in 1983, ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (and its closest relative ''Xuanhuaceratops'', originailly named "Xuanhuasaurus" in 1986) initially were believed the earliest pachycephalosaurians, both from China; but they have then been revealed being very archaic ceratopsians between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Yinlong''. Still mysterious is the identity of the poorly-known Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopelix Stenopelix]]'', whose pelvis was found in Europe in the XIX century.

to:

* Another, even more important missing-link was found as recently as the 2006: following the current trend about Chinese dinos’ naming, it was called ''Yinlong'' ("hidden dragon"). Living in Late Jurassic, it took the "most primitive ceratopsian" record away from ''Psittacosaurus''. Its external appearence was the least ''Triceratops''-like one can imagine: ''Yinlong'' was not only totally bipedal, but had neither any parrot-bill, nor spiky cheeks. Its only ceratopsian trait is a merely anatomical one: the “rostral bone” at the tip of its upper jaw, present in all ceratopsians and in no other dinosaur group. To compensate, ''Yinlong'' had small “canines”: this, together with its size (4 ft long) and shape, makes it quite similar to the basal ornithischian ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursOrnithischianDinosaurs Heterodontosaurus]]''. Indeed, this resemblance was once cited as the definitive proof that heterodontosaurids were not ornithopods but ancient relatives of ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs, but now the latter is disputed. Many new basal ceratopsians have been described since the 1990s both in Asia and in North America. Some were related with the examples listed above: for example, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udanoceratops Udanoceratops]]'' (one of the largest, twice longer than a Protoceratops) was close to ''Leptoceratops'' but living in Asia; ''Asiaceratops'' was also an [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Asian]] Leptoceratops-relative; ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graciliceratops Graciliceratops]]'' ("gracile horned face") was similar to ''Microceratops'', and some alleged "microceratops" remains actually belonged to it; ''Breviceratops'' ("short horned face") was originally considered a second ''Protoceratops'' species; while ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanoceratops Turanoceratops]]'' from Central Asia was perhaps close to ''Zuniceratops'' and maybe one of the ceratopsids' ancestors. But others guys have revealed to be more primitive, if not at the same degree of ''Yinlong''. Two of them have become the namesakes of their own family: the Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeoceratops Archaeoceratops]]'' ("ancient horned face"), was a sort of middle-way between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Leptoceratops'' - the same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auroraceratops Auroraceratops]]'' "dawn horned face", which had an unusually-shaped skull; the second is the Late Jurassic ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (originally called "Chaoyoungosaurus" or "Chaoyangosaurus"). Described in 1983, ''Chaoyangsaurus'' (and its closest relative ''Xuanhuaceratops'', originailly named "Xuanhuasaurus" in 1986) initially were believed the earliest pachycephalosaurians, both from China; but they have then been revealed being very archaic ceratopsians between ''Psittacosaurus'' and ''Yinlong''. Still mysterious is the identity of the poorly-known Early Cretaceous ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stenopelix Stenopelix]]'', whose pelvis was found in Europe in the XIX century.


'''Ceratopsian or hypsilophodont?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microceratus Microceratus]]'' (once called "Microceratops")

* Despite their partial bipedality, ''Psittacosaurus'', ''Leptoceratops'' and other basal ceratopsians were still robust guys compared with, to say, the “gazelle dinosaur” ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Hypsilophodon]]''. But they had also some slimmer relatives, which if they have had a normal-looking head, they’re surely be mistaken for ornithopods. The most historically relevant was aptly called “Microceratops” ("small horned face"). From Ancient China like the [[IncrediblyLamePun prototypical Protoceratops]], it was discovered in the 1950s by an european scientist, and was also originally put in the Protoceratopsid family. "Microceratops" was long believed the smallest of all the ceratopsians; and was actually one of the smallest dinosaurs ever, only the size of a rooster. It was arguably a faster-running animal than the other ceratopsians, with its slim body and agile legs. Despite its hypsilophodontian shape, its head was unmistakeably (proto)ceratopsian, but with any hint of "horns" or "bumps". Very poorly-known, “Microceratops” has now fallen in disuse being preoccupied by a modern insect (a parasitic wasp): [[ScienceMarchesOn we now need]] to call it ''Microceratus'' ("the small horned-one"). Still, the animal has appeared in some popular works made before the name-change, namely the first ''Jurassic Park'' novel (here it's the smallest cloned dinosaur, but inaccurately portrayed as a tree-climber), and Disney's ''Dinosaur'' (this time as the smallest species of the migrating dinosaur herd).

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