Fun Archaeoceratops Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Feb 29, 2024 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Sep 28, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
One Archaeoceratops fact is that these dinosaurs were found in Asia and were known by the meaning 'ancient horned face'.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

The Archaeoceratops is a genus of basal Neoceratopsian dinosaur found in north central China in the early Cretaceous period in the Aptian stage. These dinosaurs with the meaning 'ancient horned face' are considered one of the oldest members of horned dinosaurs which also includes Triceratops. These dinosaurs with diet herbivore were known to inhabitant terrestrial areas of Asia and fossils of these dinosaurs were found in the Gansu province of China. Fossils show that the length of the species is much smaller than its later relatives. It is possible that the species used to live in the same period as the North American Zuniceratops, a member of the same family.

The Neoceratopsian from the early Cretaceous of China appears to be bipedal with a small length in body size and a comparatively large head. The fossil of the partial skull and skeleton shows that these dinosaurs had only a small bony frill projecting from the back of their head. These dinosaurs had no horns similar to species that came after these. There are two known species of these dinosaurs with a big skull. They are A. oshimai (Dong & Azuma, 1997) and A. yujingziensis (You et al., 2010). Two specimens were found in the MazongShan area of Gansu province in north central China. One of the type specimens included a partial skeleton which consisted of a skull, caudal vertebrae, a pelvis, and a maximum part of hind feet. The other one consisted of preserved caudal series, a partial hind limb, and a completely preserved foot.

All this information has also been researched thoroughly by scientists from 'On a Primitive Neoceratopsian from the Early Cretaceous of China: Sino-Japanese Silk Road Dinosaur Expedition' by Z. Dong, Y. Azuma (1997).

For more relatable content, check out these Pukyongosaurus facts and Phuwiangosaurus fun facts for kids.

Archaeoceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Archaeoceratops'?

The pronunciation of the name Archaeoceratops is 'Ark-ee-o-sair-ah-tops'.

What type of dinosaur was an Archaeoceratops?

The Archaeoceratops (meaning ancient horned face) is a dinosaur found in the early Cretaceous period in north central China. This is a genus of Neoceratopsian dinosaurs having a diet herbivore. The Archaeoceratops earlier belonged to the family of Ceratopsia (horned face in the Greek language). These dinosaurs had parrot-like beaks and thrived in the Cretaceous period in Asia and North America. In 1997, the dinosaur was placed in a new family, Archaeoceratopsidae, by Dong and Azuma. The Helioceratops belongs to the same family and possibly the Yamaceratops does too.

In which geological period did the Archaeoceratops roam the Earth?

These dinosaurs were known to be found in the early Cretaceous period in the Aptian stage. Not much content is available regarding the exact time span of these dinosaurs.

When did the Archaeoceratops become extinct?

The species with the meaning ancient horned face was known for living in the early Cretaceous period. The time was probably around 125-113 million years ago.

Where did an Archaeoceratops live?

We know that two specimens have been found in the Middle Gray Unit of the Xinminbao Group. This is in the Gongpoquan Basin of the MazongShan area of Gansu province in north central China. A. oshimai is the first basal Neoceratopsian dinosaur discovered in the area. It was named by Dong Zhiming and Azuma in 1997 and this information is also found in 'On a Primitive Neoceratopsian from the Early Cretaceous of China: Sino-Japanese Silk Road Dinosaur Expedition'.

What was an Archaeoceratops's habitat?

The habitat of these dinosaurs was probably terrestrial and these dinosaurs were adapted to feed and browse low vegetation areas.

Who did an Archaeoceratops live with?

This information is not available for these dinosaurs. They probably lived in small groups or pairs to safeguard themselves from predators.

How long did an Archaeoceratops live?

The life span of these dinosaurs is not known. There is not enough fossil to determine the age of the Archaeoceratops.

How did they reproduce?

Not much information is available on the reproduction of the species. We do know that they reproduced by laying eggs but the number of eggs is not known. Dinosaurs usually laid a clutch of around three to five eggs and sometimes as many as 20 eggs.

Archaeoceratops Fun Facts

What did an Archaeoceratops look like?

The skeleton found of these dinosaurs shows that these dinosaurs would have been bipedal and small in length. This dinosaur had a large head when compared to other species. There were no horns attached to the skull. The dinosaur just had a tiny, bony frill projecting from the back of its head. As historians found, the skull was too big for the body when compared with proportions of similarly sized dinosaurs like Ornithopods.

There were two specimens found in the Gongpoquan Basin of Gansu province in north central China. These specimens consisted of a partial skeleton with a skull, caudal vertebrae, a pelvis, and most of a hindfoot. The other one found was incomplete with a full foot, a partial hind limb, and a well preserved caudal series. The second one is smaller than the holotype.

It was a bipedal species with a large head and small body.
*We've been unable to source an image of an Archaeoceratops and have used an image of a Nanshiungosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of an Archaeoceratops, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did an Archaeoceratops have?

The number of bones of the species is not known as a full specimen has not been found.

How did they communicate?

We don't have any information on how dinosaurs of this species communicated with each other. However, dinosaurs communicated vocally and visually. Some may have shown different postures to threaten predators or attract their mates.

How big was an Archaeoceratops?

With a large head and a small body, the length of the dinosaur is assumed to be around 39.3 in (1 m) long.

How fast could an Archaeoceratops move?

It was a bipedal species, so it might not have been very quick.

How much did an Archaeoceratops weigh?

The weight of the species is not known as the full skeleton has not been retrieved yet.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is not information given to differentiate between male and female names of the species.

What would you call a baby Archaeoceratops?

This information is not known.

What did they eat?

Plants and vegetation constituted their diet. Herbivore dinosaurs like the Archaeoceratops would probably have been a browser of low vegetation. The posture of the dinosaur shows that it would have been quick to adapt to feed on low vegetation areas.

How aggressive were they?

They were probably not very aggressive.

Did you know...

They were found in the early Cretaceous period.

They were probably endemic to China.

What does the term Archaeoceratops mean?

Archaeoceratops means 'ancient horn face'.

Did the Archaeoceratops walk on four legs?

They were bipedal.

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 Yingshanosaurus facts, or Trinisaura fun facts for kids.

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

Archaeoceratops Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants and vegetation

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Very small and bipedal, large head, no horns

How Much Did They Weigh?


Skin Type

Rough skin

How Long Were They?

Estimated to be about 39.3 in (1 m) long

How Tall Were They?





Clade: Dinosauria





Scientific Name

Archaeoceratops oshimai Archaeoceratops yujingziensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial habitats

Where Did They Live?

North central China
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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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