Fun Aquilops Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Oct 20, 2022 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Read the best set of 21 Aquilops facts that will blow your mind.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The first dinosaur ever to be found in the state of Montana, the Aquilops americanus has been a topic of interest for paleontologists and students since its discovery. This little dinosaur is a very interesting one. It was first discovered in the year 2014 and its fossils were found on the northern side of North America. The name Aquilops means “eagle face” which depicts how it looks like an eagle with a sharp beak, eagle-like eyes, curved horns above its brows, and small forelimbs that are similar to those dinosaurs which had feathers or wings for gliding purposes over long distances when hunting prey, as they evolved from birds during the Jurassic period. The Aquilops is a relatively new genus of ceratopsian dinosaurs that lived in what is today North America. This species has been known to scientists for over five decades but it wasn’t until 2015 when its name became official after being treated as nomen nudum or ‘name without reference material'. Scientists have also found fossils suggesting the Aquilops americanus was an omnivore who had a primarily plant diet but would consume some insects as well for nutrients and energy throughout its lifetime. One of the most fascinating things about these creatures is their horns and frills just like modern-day animals we see today such as rhinos or deer. A very small horned-face that lived during the early Cretaceous period (about 120 million years ago), it's one member of an extinct group called protoceratopians—a branch off from ceratopsian dinosaurs like Triceratops.

Find more relatable and exciting facts about the Staurikosaurus and the Dacentrurus for kids!

Aquilops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Aquilops'?

The Aquilops pronunciation is not that hard after all! "Aquilops" is pronounced as "AK-wihl-opz." It was one of the smallest and earliest horned dinosaurs.

What type of dinosaur was an Aquilops?

The Aquilops americanus was an early horned dinosaur that lived on the Earth over 200 million years ago.

In which geological period did the Aquilops roam the earth?

In the early Cretaceous period, the Aquilops roamed across North America and Montana.

When did the Aquilops become extinct?

The Aquilops americanus, a small herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period in North America and Asia, became extinct about 108 million to 104 million years ago.

Where did an Aquilops live?

There are numerous theories about where the Aquilops americanus lived. Some believe that it was in a desert climate, while others think it was more likely to live in grasslands or forests.

What was an Aquilops' habitat?

A study in the journal Current Biology suggests that the Aquilops' environment was more like a grassland than we originally thought. It's believed they lived alongside dinosaurs such as the Triceratops and the Pachyrhinosaurus, along with early animals of similar size including the Pantolambda, the Geronticus, the Eomaia, and the Sinodelphys.

Who did an Aquilops live with?

It is believed that it may have lived in North America and Montana alongside closely related animals like dinosaurs such as Triceratops-like Ceratopids, Ornithomimid Theropods (possibly Coelurosauravus), the Tyrannosauroidea, and the Gorgosaurus/Albertosaurus!

How long did an Aquilops live?

The Aquilops americanus, one of the smallest known dinosaurs, lived for about 10 years.

How did they reproduce?

The Aquilops americanus likely had a very interesting mating ritual. This is based on the fact that it was discovered in western North America and Montana by Andrew Farke but has more primitive features than other horned dinosaurs found elsewhere around the world (like the closely related Triceratops). Many researchers believe this means they evolved from different ancestors and only lived together for some time before going their separate ways. Horns are believed to have been used as part of male-male competitions during the breeding season.

Aquilops Fun Facts

What did an Aquilops look like?

The Aquilops americanus of the genus Aquilops lived during the Cretaceous period, roughly 130 million years ago. Its snout was found extremely short during the reconstruction of Aquilops skull parts. The skull had small eye sockets which were indicative of a nocturnal lifestyle. Teeth in this species are described as “closely related incisiform” meaning that they have pointed tips like an eagle or a hawk's beak did when it still ate fish rather than mammals. It is believed to have also been insectivorous because fossils in the Museum of Natural History show remnants of insects on their skeletons! It had short arms, long legs, and strong feet for running on its tippy toes.

These Aquilops dinosaurs had a prominent skull and lower jaw that was found only in this type of species.

How many bones did an Aquilop have?

Well, it's hard to say as we don't know of any alive at this point but experts estimate that the number of bones could be anywhere from about 180-200 based on bones from the found fossil!

How did they communicate?

The tiny, furious creature known as the Aquilops ceratopsian dinosaur communicated with its kind through shrill tweets like some sort of prehistoric thrush at dawn on a Sunday morning while their eggs hatched into little monsters set upon snacking on vegetation all day long before going back for seconds later that afternoon!

How big was an Aquilops?

Th Aquilops size was tiny when compared to any other ceratopsian dinosaur. The Aquilops was about 2 ft (61 cm) long and the Aquilops height was 1.2 ft (36.6 cm) tall, but we are still learning new things every day as paleontologists continue to uncover more fossils for us to study!

How fast could an Aquilops move?

Now, we don't actually know how fast an Aquilops horned dinosaur could move. There's no fossil record of them running around to really help us estimate that kind of thing!

How much did an Aquilops weigh?

The small horned dinosaur known as "Aquilops" weighed around 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) and lived in western North America during a period of time where horned dinosaurs were just beginning to evolve.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-related scientific terms for this species. Both females and males are known as Aquilops dinosaurs!

What would you call a baby Aquilops?

Their babies do not have any specific scientific terms and are simply known as Aquilop babies!

What did they eat?

The plant-eating, prehistoric reptile Aquilops feasted on shrubs and grasses that grew in ancient forests of North America. The dominantly herbivorous creature also ate insects for protein when it pleased its palate; this was especially common during winter months as prey became scarce at other times of the year.

How rare were they?

They were so rare that they are the first ceratopsian dinosaurs to be discovered in North America by Andrew Farke!

Did you know...

This reptile's name is a combination of two Latin words: 'aquila' meaning eagle, and 'ops' meaning face. It got its namesake because it has an impressive set of facial features such as large eyes and powerful jaw muscles for gripping plants.

What Aquilops fossils were found?

Fossils like a small skull and a lower jaw from this new species that lived about 110 million years ago give paleontologists insight during the reconstruction of the Aquilops into what life was like when dinosaurs first evolved with horns and beaks.

Was the Aquilops cute?

We might never know for sure. Many paleontologists are divided on the reconstruction of Aquilops dinosaurs because the Aquilops' skull and lower jaw are not well-preserved enough to determine its appearance, and the fact that it's just one isolated fossil makes things even more complicated. It could've been a cute little horned dinosaur or maybe it was hideous with sharp teeth like modern reptiles today; we can't really say much!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Yinlong facts, or Crichtonsaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Second image by Brian Engh, Andrew A. Farke, W. Desmond Maxwell, Richard L. Cifelli, Mathew J. Wedel

Aquilops Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants, shrubs, grass, and rarely insects

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Gray, brown, and blackish

How Much Did They Weigh?

3.3 lb (1.5 kg)

Skin Type

Thick scales

How Long Were They?

2 ft (61 cm)

How Tall Were They?

1.2 ft (36.6 cm)









Scientific Name


What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grass plains, forests, open meadows, and tundras

Where Did They Live?

North America
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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