Fun Spiclypeus Facts For Kids

Mellisa Nair
Nov 29, 2022 By Mellisa Nair
Originally Published on Sep 15, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Interesting Spiclypeus facts including details about its fossil remains, skull, discovery, bone infection, and growth.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

The Spiclypeus is an extinct dinosaur in the Ornithischia order that lived during the Late Cretaceous in the Upper Cretaceous or the late Campanian stage, now known as Montana, North America. This horned dinosaur was discovered by Dr. Bill D. Shipp, a nuclear physicist in 2000 along with his colleague John C. Gilpatrick, a veteran fossil collector.

They found its fossil remains on their first trip to Winifred, Montana.

Dr. Bill D. Shipp happened to come across a thighbone projecting out of a hillside near the Judith River Formation. Later, he invited yet another person to help unearth this new species, Joe Small an amateur paleontologist.

This discovery of a new species of horned dinosaurs was noted as remarkable throughout the world!

The specimen for a short while was informally referred to as Judith, after the Judith River Formation in Montana, USA. Years of research and studies later, the species was finally described by Jordan Mallon in 2016.

Later on, Jordan Mallon and his colleagues Christopher J. Ott, Peter L. Larson, Edward M. Iuliano, and David C. Evans also classified a new species of horned dinosaur under Spiclypeus and named it S. shipporum.

The name given to these dinosaurs is derived from two Latin words 'spica' and 'clypeus', meaning 'spiked shield', a reference made to its one-of-a-kind frill ornamented by many prominent spike-like horns on its margin. Therefore, they are also known as spiked shield dinosaurs.

The specific name, shipporum honors the Shipp family on whose land the fossil was found in near Winifred, Montana.

Unlike other horned dinosaurs that have brow horns pointing sideways, these dinosaurs have a uniquely ornamented head frill and adorning spikes that curl forward and some project outward. The left humerus of the Judith fossil showed signs of arthritis and bone infection.

Learn about some other pre-historic creatures from our Eolambia facts and Ziapelta facts pages.

Spiclypeus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Spiclypeus'?

Spiclypeus shipporum pronounciation is 'spic-lip-ee-us'. The generic name is derived from Latin 'spica', meaning 'spike', and 'clypeus', meaning 'shield', named after its unique frill and several large spike-like horn decoration on its margin.

What type of dinosaur was a Spiclypeus?

This dinosaur belongs to the Chordata phylum, the Reptilia class, the order Ornithischia, the‭ ‬Dinosauria clade, and the family Ceratopsidae. It has one type species, the S.‭ ‬shipporum.

In which geological period did the Spiclypeus roam the earth?

Fossil remains indicate that the Spiclypeus dinosaur lived during the Late Cretaceous era.

When did the Spiclypeus become extinct?

These dinosaurs went extinct during the K-T mass extinction, nearly 65 million years ago.

Where did a Spiclypeus live?

Spiclypeus shipporum fossil remains were recovered from the Judith River Formation which was the Upper Cretaceous or ‬Campanian‭ ‬of Montana, North America. This indicates that they lived in this area. Fossils of this species were also found near Alberta, Canada.

What was a Spiclypeus's habitat?

This dinosaur lived near regions that provided it with plenty of food and water such as forests, riversides, floodplains, and swamps.

Who did a Spiclypeus live with?

The social life and behavior of this dinosaur are unknown.

How long did a Spiclypeus live?

Despite having unhealthy bones, analysis and studies conducted on it revealed that it lived up to 10 years at least.

How did they reproduce?

They reproduced via sexual reproduction. Males would deposit their sperm inside females, who would later lay fertilized eggs containing developing dinosaur embryos.

They built nests by digging burrows in the soil and laid giant eggs which had a hard layered shell. All the eggs were usually amniotic, meaning the fetus was covered by a membrane which helped in its protection as well as supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the fetus.

Spiclypeus Fun Facts

What did a Spiclypeus look like?

The Spiclypeus skeleton recovered from Judith River revealed that it had a robust ceratopsid build, an impressive head frill, and triangular spikes that decorated its margins. The reconstructed skull of this dinosaur revealed how large and intimidating it was, being 65 in (167 cm) in length.

Its horns were unlike any other dinosaurs, and so was its skull, adorned with spikes that curled forward and others that projected outward.

Its upper beak was strongly hooked, from above the frill on its skull look relatively flat and triangular.

The frill patterns on this dinosaur have not been seen in any other species as even the rear bones have a frill. It is often compared to a Triceratops but can be easily separated thanks to its unique frill, bone structure, and bony spikes that curl forward and outward.

Fun facts about this horned dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous and was discovered in Montana, USA.
We've been unable to source an image of Spiclypeus and have used an image of Titanoceratops instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Spiclypeus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Spiclypeus have?

This spiked shield dinosaur was found at the Judith River Formation and is described from bones representing the skull, legs, hips, and backbone of an individual.

How did they communicate?

Communication among creatures that roamed the Earth during the Late Cretaceous era is still a mystery but many scientists over past decades have come up with several theories that suggest possible ways these animals communicated.

Some have put forth the theory of vocalizations and that these ferocious beasts engaged in dialogue by producing calls, hoots, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.

How big was a Spiclypeus?

This horned dinosaur grew up to 15–20 ft (4.5–6 m) in length.

How fast could a Spiclypeus move?

The speed rate of these dinosaurs is unknown.

How much did a Spiclypeus weigh?

Adult dinosaurs of this species weighed around 6613-8818 lb (3,000–4,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The female species are called saura, whereas the males are called saurus.

What would you call a baby Spiclypeus?

Young Spiclypeus babies can be referred to as hatchlings.

What did they eat?

Since they were herbivores, their diet mainly consisted of plants and fruits.

How aggressive were they?

Scientists speculate that it wasn't necessarily aggressive, but this dinosaur was good at defending itself thanks to its spiked shield.

Did you know...

The reconstructed skull of Judith is on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Mike Skrepnick is known for creating illustrations of pre-historic creatures including a 3D skull reconstruction of this species!

Who found the Spiclypeus?

Bill D. Shipp found the specimen on his property near the Judith River in Montana, North America. This was followed by the discovery of this new species that was later described and classified as a type species in 2016 by Jordan Mallon, Christopher J. Ott, Peter L. Larson, Edward M. Iuliano, and David C. Evans.

What is special about the Spiclypeus bones recovered?

This species was known for having a highly diseased left humerus (upper arm bone). Its humerus showed signs of arthritis and bone infection, and it certainly lived a life of pain and probably limped and walked on only three legs as the left forelimb was destroyed from within.

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 Beibeilong fun facts, or Stellasaurus facts for kids.

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

We've been unable to source an image of Spiclypeus and have used an image of Centrosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Spiclypeus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Mellisa Nair

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Mellisa Nair picture

Mellisa NairBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Specializing in the creation of SEO-friendly content, Mellisa brings enthusiasm and expertise to our team. Her work in digital marketing and social media is complemented by her academic background in economics and English literature, as she holds a Bachelor's degree in these subjects from Wilson College Chowpatty, Mumbai. Mellisa's experience working with clients from various industries, including retail, education, and technology, reflects her ability to adapt her skills to different contexts and audiences.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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