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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous 74.3 Ma
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Prenoceratops pieganensis -1.jpg
Cast of a fossil skeleton, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Family: Leptoceratopsidae
Genus: Prenoceratops
Chinnery, 2004
P. pieganensis
Binomial name
Prenoceratops pieganensis
Chinnery, 2004

Prenoceratops, (meaning 'bent or prone-horned face' and derived from Greek prene-/πρηνη- meaning 'bent forwards' or 'prone', cerat-/κερατ- meaning 'horn' and -ops/ωψ meaning 'face') is a genus of ceratopsian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period. Its fossils have been found in the upper Two Medicine Formation in the present-day U.S. state of Montana, in Campanian age rock layers that have been dated to 74.3 million years ago.[1]

Discovery and species[edit]


Prenoceratops was first described by Brenda J. Chinnery in 2004. It is unusual in that it is the only basal neoceratopsian known from a bonebed.

Prenoceratops species include P. pieganensis (type).


Prenoceratops belonged to the Ceratopsia (which name is derived from Ancient Greek, meaning 'horned face'), a group of herbivorous dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks, which thrived in North America and Asia during the Cretaceous Period. It is closely related to Leptoceratops, which it antedates by several million years. It is characterized by a lower, more sloping head than that of Leptoceratops.


Prenoceratops, like all ceratopsians, was a herbivore. During the Cretaceous, flowering plants were "geographically limited on the landscape", and so it is likely that this dinosaur fed on the predominant plants of the era: ferns, cycads and conifers. It would have used its sharp ceratopsian beak to bite off the leaves or needles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan, M. J., Evans, D. C., Currie, P. J., Brown, C. M., & Brinkman, D. (2012). New leptoceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Cretaceous Research, 35: 69-80.
  • Chinnery, BJ (2004). "Description of Prenoceratops pieganensis gen et sp. nov. (Dinosauria: Neoceratopsia) from the Two Medicine Formation of Montana". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 24 (3): 572–590. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2004)024[0572:DOPPGE]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0272-4634.
  • (online abstract of the preceding article)
  • Liddell & Scott (1980). Greek-English Lexicon, Abridged Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-910207-4.