Psittacosaurus sinensis Dinosaur Skull
Lower Cretaceous of Mongolia

Name: Ornithischia, Ceratopsia, Psittacosauridae; Psittacosaurus sinensis

Age: Lower Cretaceous Aptian/Albia Stage (~110-115 m.y.a.)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): 95 mm long, 65 mm high, 75 mm wide acrossMatrix: 98 mm by 62 mm

Location: Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), China

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Psittacosaurus dinosaur skullDescription: This is the well-preserved skull of an early Ceratopsian dinosaur known as Psittacosaurus sinensis. H.F. Osborn named the genus in the early 1920s from specimens collected by the famous Central Asiatic Expeditions led by Roy Chapman Andrews. Psittacosaurus derives its name from its parrot-like rostrum (beak), a feature shared with the great horned dinosaurs that came 20 plus million years later. It was a maximum of 2 meters in length, and was primarily bipedal despite its well-developed forelegs. It presumably used its forelegs to gather in vegetation which it cropped with its sharp beak and pulverized with its teeth (see the close-ups for a few still found in the right jaw). Several examples of brooding behavior in dinosaurs have now been found. A recent article in Nature describes an adult Psittacosaur found with 34 presumed hatchlings in a bowl-like depression thought to be a nest, a strong indication that this brood care may have been more widespread than once thought.

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