Fun Tatankaceratops Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Nov 28, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Sep 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
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Tatankaceratops facts such as there is a lot of controversy regarding this taxon and many authors believe that the fossil found is actually of a juvenile or growth-deficient Triceratops.

Tatankaceratops is a genus of ceratopsian dinosaur that has gone through a lot of controversy. This was a herbivorous dinosaur which lived in the late Cretaceous Period/Maastrichtian Age.

This small chasmosaurine ceratopsian dinosaur was found in what is now called South Dakota of North America. The species is known from a single partial skull collected from the Hell Creek Formation.

Christopher J. Ott and Peter L. Larson first described the dinosaur and its type species Tatankaceratops sacrisonorum in 2010 in their study 'A New, Small Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, Northwest South Dakota, United States: A Preliminary Description'.

This study was done with the help of the only specimen housed in the Black Hills Institute, BHI 6226. This is how the species was described.

Also the study called 'New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium, Bloomington, Indiana University Press' by Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B.J., and Eberth, D.A. has helped put a perspective in this dinosaur species.

Although people have guessed the size of this species to be around 3.3-9.8 ft (1-3 m), it has not been proved yet as the study by Christopher J. Ott and Peter L. Larson was only done on a single partial skull foubd ib Hell Creek Formation in Harding County, South Dakota, U.S.A.

This dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period was re-evaluated by Nick Longrich in 2011 in his published paper.

He suggested that the dinosaur had a lot of bizarre mix of similar characteristics from adult and juvenile Triceratops specimens. The short and slender brow horns and the small size of the dinosaur is consistent with the juvenile dinosaurs of Triceratops, while the gnarled bone and fusion of skull elements to one another is same as adults of ceratopsians.

Nick Longrich stated that the Tatankaceratops found in Hell Creek Formation is actually a dwarf species of Triceratops or truly a Triceratops specimen with a developmental disorder.

This disorder might have caused it to stop growing prematurely.

Many authors have considered the dinosaurs to be just juveniles of Triceratops and many have also disregarded the taxon Tatankaceratops.

For more relates content, check out these Jianchangosaurus facts and Rebbachisaurus fun facts for kids.

Tatankaceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Tatankaceratops'?

The pronunciation of this dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period is probably 'Tatan-ka-sera-tops'.

What type of dinosaur was a Tatankaceratops?

Tatankaceratops is a herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur of the family Ceratopsidae in the Dinosauria clade of the kingdom of Animalia. This dinosaur has gone through a lot of controversy as many authors believe that it is not a different genus, but a part of Triceratops.

The name Tatankaceratops was given by Christopher J. Ott and Peter L. Larson in their study 'A New, Small Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, Northwest South Dakota, United States: A Preliminary Description' published in 2010.

Also many information have been found from the study New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 656 pp.

by Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B.J., and Eberth, D.A.

The meaning of the name is Tatanka; Tatanka is the name for the American bison in the Lakota language, it means 'buffalo horn face'. The type species name Sacrisonorum honors Stan and Steve Sacrisonów who discovered the specimen.

In which geological period did the Tatankaceratops roam the earth?

It is said that the dinosaurs were present 0n the planet in the Late Cretaceous Period/latest Maastrichtian stage.

When did the Tatankaceratops become extinct?

The dinosaur is only known from a single partial skull found in the Hell Creek Formation. This dates back to around 66 million years ago.

Where did a Tatankaceratops live?

The only fossil found of these dinosaurs in the Hell Creek Formation in Harding County, South Dakota, U.S.A. It is said that the species inhabited North America.

What was a Tatankaceratops's habitat?

The habitat was strictly terrestrial and they probably lived in vegetated areas. If we considered this species similar or the same as Triceratops, the dinosaur lived in dry, forested areas and plains where vegetation was plenty. Trees like ferns, cycads, and palms, were likely filled in these habitats.

Who did a Tatankaceratops live with?

Not much information is available on the company these dinosaurs used to keep in the habitat they lived in. However, seeing their herbivorous nature, they probably lived in small groups or solitary.

How long did a Tatankaceratops live?

The lifespan of the dinosaur is not known. Only a partial skull has been found to date and that is not enough to judge the age of the species.

How did they reproduce?

There is no information on reproduction of this dinosaurs. Dinosaurs in general used to lay around three to five eggs at a time but the clutch size could also increase to 15-20 eggs at a time.

Triceratop dinosaurs used to lay small clutches of eggs in a nest and they were guarded by the female until ready to hatch. It took almost three to six month for the eggs to hatch.

Tatankaceratops Fun Facts

What did a Tatankaceratops look like?

The species was first described in 2010 in the study "A New, Small Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, Northwest South Dakota, United States: A Preliminary Description" by Christopher J Ott and Peter L Larson.

The species was soon re-evaluated as many authors found striking similarities in traits between this dinosaur and Triceratops. Some traits point to the small size and short, slender brows of juvenile Triceratops while other traits like the gnarled bone and fusion of skull elements to one another are often seen in older ceratopsians.

The elongated nose horn was exactly the same as the highly advanced Triceratops prorsus.

After this revelation, it was suspected that the Tatankaceratops dinosaurs are the same as a dwarf species of Triceratops dinosaurs or it can also be a Triceratops that has undergone some developmental disorder which caused it to stop growing prematurely. Many have disregarded this as a new genus after the findings of these similarities.

Tatankaceratops facts are interesting.
*Please note that this is an image of a Triceratops. Although this dinosaur looks similar to the Tatankaceratops dinosaur, it is believed to be of a different taxon. If you have an image of a Tatankaceratops, please mail us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did a Tatankaceratops have?

Only a partial skull has been found to date, so the number of bones of this species is not known.

How did they communicate?

They probably communicated with the help of sound, vision, and chemically. No information has been made available in this regard.

How big was a Tatankaceratops?

As only a small part of the dinosaur has been retrieved till now, the accuracy of the dimensions has to be doubted. Some authors have estimated the size to be around 3.3-9.8 ft (1-3 m) in length.

How fast could a Tatankaceratops move?

The speed is not known.

How much did a Tatankaceratops weigh?

The weight is not known. However, the smaller size would have made it much lighter in weight than Triceratops. This in turn would have made the dinosaur faster.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no information on different names given to males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby Tatankaceratops?

This information is unavailable.

What did they eat?

They were herbivorous and probably depended on plants and vegetation in the area.

How aggressive were they?

They were probably not very aggressive in nature.

Did you know...

Although concrete evidence is not available, dinosaurs were thought to live for around 70-80 years.

Triceratops is a real ceratopsian dinosaur.

How many teeth did Triceratops have?

Researchers say that the Triceratops had around 800 teeth that were constantly being replenished. The teeth were arranged in groups called batteries. One battery consisted of 36-40 tooth columns in each side of each jaw and three to five teeth per column.

What is a one horned dinosaur called?

Triceratops being one, there are other one-horned dinosaurs like Centrosaurus.

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

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura.

*Please note that the main image is of a Triceratops. Although this dinosaur looks similar to the Tatankaceratops dinosaur, it is believed to be of a different taxon. If you have an image of a Tatankaceratops, please mail us at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

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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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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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