Fun Microcephale Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 20, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Read these amazing Microcephale facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

Dinosaurs are a bunch of diverse reptiles which have piqued the interest of scientists, paleontologists, and even common people. For years, we were only able to make assumptions about dinosaurs due to lack of fossils.

Several species, despite being discovered, are poorly studied due to destroyed fossils. The Microcephale is one such dinosaur that was discovered in 1997 by Paul Sereno, a professor of paleontology at the University of Chicago.

It was found in a fossil site in Canada, North America, and lived during the Late Cretaceous period. This genus is not recognized and has a nomen nudum status.

Other names of the Microcephale include small head lizard, mushroom head dinosaur, and North American dwarf species. They were very small dinosaurs whose skull caps only measure 2 in(5 cm) in length.

To know more about the Microcephale size, Microcephale facts and the Microcephale discovery continue reading and do check out our other articles on the Alaskacephale and the Dreadnoughtu.

Microcephale Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Microcephale'?

This dinosaur was found by Sereno in the year 1997. It is pronounced as 'my-crow-c-fal-eh'.

What type of dinosaur was a Microcephale?

The Microcephale, also known as the North American dwarf species or small head lizard, was a Pachycephalosaurid dinosaur. All dinosaurs of this family are characterized by a small and thick skull.

In which geological period did the Microcephale roam the Earth?

This species lived on Earth during the middle to Late Campanian stage of the Cretaceous period. It was found in Alberta (North America).

When did the Microcephale become extinct?

The Microcephale lived in the middle to Late Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous period which was 100.5-66 million years ago, after which it became extinct. The exact reason for its extinction is not known. It might have been due to natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, or due to habitat loss.

Where did the Microcephale live?

Fossils of this mushroom head dinosaur were found in Alberta, Canada. However, they may have lived in some other place far away from North America as remains were not intact and suggested that they had traveled long distances.

What was the Microcephale's habitat?

Their fossils showed signs of surface exfoliation. Specimens were mostly eroded which suggested that they had traveled long distances. Since it was a herbivorous animal it most likely occupied forests where food availability was abundant. It may have resided in mountains close to water sources where low-lying plant life thrived.

Who did the Microcephale live with?

From recovered remains it is not possible to determine whether this species was solitary or lived in packs. Scientists, after a wide search, found fossilized footprints called trackways.

General findings stated that plant-eating dinosaurs mostly stuck together and lived in groups to ward off predators. This dinosaur might have shared its habitat with other dinosaurs found in the same era.

How long did a Microcephale live?

The exact lifespan of this species is not known. Dinosaurs, in general, may have lived anywhere between 10 and 80 years.

How did they reproduce?

 A few dinosaur eggs have been discovered which indicates that they were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. Research suggests that reproduction in dinosaurs must have been quite similar to that of all modern day reptiles which involved deposition of sperm inside females, fertilization of eggs, incubation, and hatching of eggs.

Some dinosaurs did care a great deal for their young while the rest were left to fend for themselves. Due to lack of data, we do not know if the Microcephale belonged to the former or latter group.

Microcephale Fun Facts

What did the Microcephale look like?

Members of the Pachycephalosauria, the family to which the Microcephale belongs, had a short, thick skull. They had good eyesight and a strong sense of smell due to the presence of large olfactory lobes.

This species was very small and, similar to all other members, might have had short forelimbs and long hindlimbs. They had different shapes of teeth and a short, stout neck. The neck was either U shaped or S shaped.

One of the body features was a heavy tail which was attached to their wide hips. Skull caps of this genus measure less than 2 in (5 cm).

The Microcephale was a very small dinosaur.

How many bones did a Microcephale have?

Only a single skeleton including skull caps was found. There is not much knowledge regarding the number of bones and bone structures of this dinosaur species. Dinosaurs in general can have as many as 200 bones.

Large dinosaurs might have had an extra tail or other bones. It is impossible to calculate the exact number of bones in a dinosaur as dinosaurs existed millions of years ago and most of their fossils are damaged. The estimation is given based on reconstruction.

How did they communicate?

There wasn't much difference in communication methods between dinosaur species. They communicated vocally as well as visually. All of them conveyed messages using more or less the same kind of sounds with little to no variations.

Sounds like growls, hoots, or sometimes even coos might have been produced by them. Color, feathers, and ornamentation played a huge role in visual communication. The presence of feathers in this genus is very unlikely.

How big was the Microcephale?

Research states that they were very small dinosaurs that measured 1.6 ft (0.48 m) in length. Their height has not yet been estimated.

How fast could a Microcephale move?

The speed of a dinosaur is calculated based on its height, weight, and hip proportions. Sometimes even trails left by a dinosaur can aid in identifying its speed. The speed at which these dinosaurs traveled has not yet been calculated.

The Microcephale, like all other members, might have had long legs which would have enabled it to move quicker. It was bipedal and had a small stature. Scientists have a lot of varying statements about its speed; however, they are just assumptions and lack evidence.

How much did a Microcephale weigh?

The weight of this species is unknown.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no opportunities to examine or interpret features of males and females due to a lack of fossils. They did not have any unique names and were generally referred to as a Microcephale.

What would you call a baby Microcephale?

A baby Microcephale can be called a hatchling, a nestling, or a juvenile.

What did they eat?

Dinosaurs are classified for their dietary preferences based on teeth structure. In the case of the Microcephale, it had teeth that were neither sharp nor long. It meant that they were only capable of crushing plant materials.

Despite having long necks, due to their overall small size they were not capable of eating plants at elevated heights. They were dependent on ground foliage and roots. The diet of this species included low-lying plant leaves and twigs.

How aggressive were they?

Members of the Pachycephalosauria had thick and strong skulls. Based on injuries and infections on skull remains, scientists predict that they might have been involved in aggressive head butting fights. The thick neck would have supported the heavy skull. All of the dinosaur's features support this theory.

Did you know...

Currently, remains of this genus are found at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History.

Paul Sereno has a doctorate from Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Based on their head size it can be concluded that they were not very intelligent.

Why are they called Microcephale?

This genus and species have not yet been recognized. This is just an informal name given for the time being to a very small Pachycephalosaurid dinosaur. Microcephale means tiny head. Since they have a tiny skull, they are called Microcephale.

How small were the Microcephale?

The colloquial name, North American dwarf species, suggests they were very small dinosaurs. All other members of this family measured 6.6-9.8 ft (2-3 m) in length while the Microcephale was only 1.6 ft (0.48 m)in length. It is 24 times bigger than the smallest dinosaur, the Oculudentavis khaungraae.

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 Stegoceras facts and Tylocephale facts pages.

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

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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