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Graciliceratops: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Graciliceratops facts will help you learn more about these dinosaurs.

Mongolia is a hotspot for discovering fossilized dinosaurs. In 1971, the Polish-Mongolian Palaeontological Expedition or PMPE discovered the Gracilceratops. The specimen was first classified as belonging to the Microceratops genus, but this was negated by Paul Sereno. He renamed the fossil specimen to create a new genus and species, called the Graciliceratops mongoliensis. What kind of a dinosaur was Gracilceratops? Sereno was able to provide a description by examining the partial skeleton and skull found in the Shiregin Gashun Formation.

Due to the nature of the bone structure, palaeontologists soon realized that the specimen was not a fully grown dinosaur. Many interesting facts about this dinosaur were uncovered on closer inspection of the fossils, especially its taxonomic classification. Habitat, diet, reproduction, physical appearance, and other characteristics were described in 'the fossil record, systematics, and evolution of pachycephalosaurs and ceratopsians from Asia'. For instance, the size of the Graciliceratops was probably equivalent to the size of a pet cat.

Continue reading to know everything about this graceful horned creature. Go through other dinosaur articles like Veterupristisaurus and Szechuanosaurus available on Kidadl.

Graciliceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Graciliceratops'?

Graciliceratops, or the Graceful horned, was pronounced 'Gras-sil-i-seh-rah-tops'.

What type of dinosaur was a Graciliceratops?

Initially, Graciliceratops was considered to be part of Microceratops genus. But on detailed analysis of the skeleton, palaeontologists found that it to be part of a separate genus and family tree. Later, this small dinosaur was assigned to the ‭neoceratopsian marginocephalian group. Paul Sereno named the dinosaur in 2000‬.

In which geological period did the Graciliceratops roam the earth?

Graciliceratops mongoliensis roamed the earth between the Cenomanian - Santonian geological period. It was the Late Cretaceous period that fell between 83-100 million years ago.

When did the Graciliceratops become extinct?

According to estimates, the Graciliceratops went extinct around the end of the Santonian stage of the Late Cretaceous period (83.6 million years ago). The reason for its extinction is unclear.

Where did a Graciliceratops live?

The Gracileceratops mongoliensis was a ground-dwelling or terrestrial dinosaur.

What was a Graciliceratops' habitat?

The Graciliceratops' habitat was the Shiregin Gashun Formation, Gobi Desert in Mongolia. This formation was characterized by a semi-arid climate with large water bodies like rivers and lakes. Fossilized fruits suggest the presence of angiosperm plants in the region. However, the exact type of flora present in this age is yet to be explored.

Who did a Graciliceratops live with?

The type species was gregarious, meaning it would have lived in groups. Achillobator, Alectrosaurus, Erlikosaurus, Segnosaurus, Amtocephale, Talarurus, Tsagantegia, Erketu, and Gobihadros are some dinosaurs from other groups that Graciliceratops may have lived with.

How long did a Graciliceratops live?

This information has yet to be discovered fully.

How did they reproduce?

The graceful horned dinosaur expanded its family by laying eggs. The Graciliceratops mongoliensis was an oviparous species. Apart from this information, no other details about its reproductive cycle, like mating rituals, incubation period, nesting, and fledging time, are available.

Graciliceratops Fun Facts

What did a Graciliceratops look like?

Only a skull and partially articulated skeleton of the Gracilceratops was unearthed from Mongolia. Since the specimen's bones were not fully fused, it is assumed that it was not a fully grown rather a juvenile Gracilceratops. Since only one specimen was found, researchers had to make an estimate of its body size. It was estimated that its body size was probably comparable to that of a Protoceratops. Even the slender struts bounding the large fenestrae on its frill resembled the Protoceratops frill. Overall, the Gracileratops had a horned face and its build was small and light.

The Graciliceratops size is comparable to that of a cat.

 

How many bones did a Graciliceratops have?

Paleontologists have found only one specimen of the Graciliceratops mongoliensis. The Graciliceratops skeleton and its partial skull were found in the Shiregin Gashun Formation, Gobi Desert, Mongolia. After studying the partial skull, it was realized that the skeleton belonged to a juvenile. Partial fossils are insufficient to provide a complete bone structure of the dinosaur.

The specimen consists of a partial skull with mandibles, four cervicals, vertebrae, right scapula, 12 dorsals and seven sacrals, the left coracoid, right humerus, radius and partial ulna, the proximal and distal end of left humerus, proximal fragments of both pubis, fragments of illium and right ischium, right femur, tibia, almost perfect pes, left tibia's distal part, partial left pes, and tarsals and isolated ribs.

How did they communicate?

How these Cretaceous dinosaurs communicated with their own kind and other species is yet to be studied.

How big was a Graciliceratops?

Graciliceratops was a small species that was approximately 31.5-35.4 in (80-90 cm). It was probably as big as a house cat. It was one of the smaller dinosaur species to be found in this geological age.

How fast could a Graciliceratops move?

Gracilceratops was a bipedal dinosaur, meaning it moved with the help of its two limbs. However, due to its small size, the graciliceratops mongoliensis would have been able to shift to a quadrupedal posture, which would have been useful when sifting through low vegetation.

How much did a Graciliceratops weigh?

The Graciliceratops was a small dinosaur that probably weighed anywhere between 5-20.1 lb (2.3-9.1 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Both sexes are referred to as adult Graciliceratops.

What would you call a baby Graciliceratops?

The baby Graciliceratops mongoliensis is referred to as a juvenile.

What did they eat?

These herbivorous dinosaurs had a diet that included plants found in the Late Cretaceous period. Their shearing beak-like structure would have allowed this small dinosaur to easily tear plant parts. Little is known about the flora existing during this age of the Shiregin Gashun Formation.

How aggressive were they?

The behavior and aggression level of this dinosaur has yet to be studied.

Did you know...

The first description of the graceful horned dinosaur was given by Teresa Maryańska and Halszka Osmólska in 1975.

Initially, these dinosaurs from Mongolia were known as Microceratops gobiensis.

What does the name 'Graciliceratops' mean?

Graciliceratops comes from two languages: Greek and Latin. Gracilis in Latin means slender and kerato in Greek means horn. The name refers to its slender build and horned face. Further, Sereno named the type species as G. mongoliensis to honor the place where it was discovered, Mongolia.

What fossils are the Graciliceratops known from?

In 1971, a Polish-Mongolian Palaeontological Expedition (PMPE) unearthed the fossilized remains of the Graciliceratops from the ‬Shiregin Gashun Formation in Mongolia. The recovered fossil included a fragmented skull and partial skeleton. In 1975, Teresa Maryańska and Halszka Osmólska classified the specimen to the genus Microceratops. This was negated by P.C. Sereno as there was a lack of evidence to support this claim. In 2000, Sereno renamed and described the species based on a detailed analysis of the specimen, which helped to further knowledge about the species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Changyuraptor facts, or Zhenyuanlong fun facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stomping dinosaur coloring pages.

Both images by Nobu Tamura

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