The Protoceratops

The Protoceratops was a small herbivorous (plant eating) dinosaur living during the late cretaceous period. It lived in what is now Asia and North America. During the late cretaceous period there were allot of swamp lands,but in some parts there were many deserts. There were also some flatlands where there were no deserts or swamps. There were no new mountains that had formed until later. The Protoceratops lived 72-65 million years ago.

The Protoceratops grew to about 6 ft and walked on all fours. It had strong jaw muscles for hard to chew plants,a short tail, and a frill at the back of its skull. There were holes in the frill which made its skull light so it could make fast protective movements in case of predators. It weighed up to about 600 lbs.

The Protoceratops used its parrot like beak to snip off low hanging leaves. It had cheek teeth which are on the sides of the mouth.

Today reptiles hatch out of soft skinned leathery eggs. The Protoceratops probably laid tough hard skinned eggs so they are protected against harsh conditions and predators. The Protoceratops might have laid there eggs together to keep predators away and watch the eggs better.

REFERENCES

Microsoft Corp., Protoceratops--Encarta Concise Encyclopedia Article, http://encarta.msn.com/index/conciseindex/AC/0ACA5000.htm ,1998.

Weishampel, David B., "Dinosaur", The World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1998.

Enchanted Learning Software, Protoceratops-Enchanted Learning Software, http://www.EnchatedLearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Protoceratops.shtml ,1996.

Swinton, William E., Triceratops, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York, 1969.

NOVA Adaptations and Survival menu.