Fun Leptoceratops Facts For Kidsmono

Gurpuneet Kaur
Nov 30, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
These are fun and interesting Leptoceratops facts about the genus of Ceratopsian dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period that lived in North America.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The Leptoceratops, meaning 'slender horned face,' belonged to the suborder of Ceratopsians having horned faces. The genus was first discovered by an American paleontologist, Burman Brown, in the early 1910s. The type species is Leptoceratops gracilis. It was thought to be a distant relative of the Triceratops, as the herbivorous diet was common between these prehistoric creatures. The dinosaur lived during the late Maastrichtian age around 66 million years ago. It was unearthed in Wyoming and Canada but was primarily thought of as a Canadian dinosaur, and specimens of the dinosaur are also housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

If the uniqueness of the Leptoceratops makes you interested in reading more about similar species, you can read about the Incisivosaurus and the Ludodactylus.

Leptoceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Leptoceratops'?

Leptoceratops is pronounced as 'lep-toh-ker-ah-tops' or 'lehp-toe-sehr-ah-tops'. The Leptoceratops name means 'slim horned face' or 'slender horned face'. The genus was named and discovered by American paleontologist Barnum Brown (1914).

What type of dinosaur was a Leptoceratops?

The Leptoceratops was the first small Ceratopsian discovered and named in 1914. The taxonomic classification of the genus of primitive ceratopsians highlights that these dinosaurs belong to the clade Dinosauria, the order Ornithischia, the suborder Ceratopsia, and the family Leptoceratopsidae. It is closely related to the Triceratops. Formerly, two species, the Leptoceratops gracilis and the Leptoceratops cerorhynchos, were thought to belong to the genus. In 1942, the Leptoceratops cerorhynchos was renamed the Montanoceratops with Leptoceratops gracilis as its type species.

In which geological period did the Leptoceratops roam the Earth?

Fossils of the Leptoceratops were collected and named by Barnum Brown in 1914 and revealed that the dinosaur lived during the late Cretaceous period around 68.8-66 million years ago.

When did the Leptoceratops become extinct?

The Leptoceratops lived during the late Maastrichtian age in the late Cretaceous epoch. Though these dinosaurs were not known to have major threats, they became extinct around 66 million years ago. It was probably natural disasters, habitat loss, and predators that were some of common factors that led to the Leptoceratops extinction.

Where did a Leptoceratops live?

As the first specimen of the Leptoceratops skeleton was found in Alberta, Canada, these primitive ceratopsians lived in and around western North America. Skulls of the Ceratopsian dinosaur were found in Canada, Wyoming, and several states in North America. Fossil remains of the animal are now preserved in the Canadian Museum of Nature.

What was a Leptoceratops's habitat?

The Leptoceratops was a quadrupedal dinosaur found to walk on its four legs. Although the Ceratopsian dinosaur did not have a specific habitat, it is thought to have had a wide range of habitats including grasslands, forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation. Though the Triceratops and the Leptoceratops, both prehistoric wildlife creatures, were known as distant relatives, the two were found to live at different elevations. While the Triceratops lived on low floodplains, the Leptoceratops is thought to have inhabited higher elevations such as hills or mountains.

Who did a Leptoceratops live with?

While many herbivore dinosaurs were found to live in a group, meat-eaters often led a solitary life or lived in pairs. Juvenile dinosaurs were considered social animals. Ceratopsians, in particular, probably lived in a pair or a group. Whether the Leptoceratops lived in pairs, groups or in solitude remains a conundrum.

How long did a Leptoceratops live?

Since the dinosaur was an animal with a considerable and healthy life span ranging between 70-80 years, the Leptoceratops was probably known to live for a substantial time period, but the life span of these small primitive Ceratopsians is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

Dinosaurs were oviparous animals that laid amniotic eggs. Despite the discovery of Leptoceratops skeletal remains, figuring out its behavior remains a challenging task. Thus, there is limited information available related to the reproductive behavior of the dinosaur.

Leptoceratops Fun Facts

What did a Leptoceratops look like?

Fossil remains and several specimens unearthed assisted in the restoration of the appearance of the dinosaur. The Leptoceratops skull and several other fossil remains discovered from Canada and Wyoming provided a brief description of the appearance of the dinosaur. The generic name, meaning 'slim horned face,' was given as this dinosaur is known to have had a snout similar to beaks of birds. It also had a small neck frill but did not have dramatic horns or a large frill like other Ceratopsians. Further, it was a quadrupedal animal with four legs. Often it was known to stand on its hind legs and sometimes walk on its hind legs. Front legs of the dinosaur were smaller than its hind legs. Leptoceratops teeth indicate an herbivorous diet with flowering plants as primary sources of its food.

It is the skeletal restoration of the herbivorous Ceratopsian dinosaur having a horned face and a parrot-like beak.
*We've been unable to source an image of a Leptoceratops and have used an image of a Prenoceratops pieganensis instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Leptoceratops, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did a Leptoceratops have?

The skull of the Leptoceratops was considerably large indicating a large head with a snout similar to beaks of birds. The osteology highlighted that the dinosaur did not have horns or dramatic frills. Despite studying fossils of the dinosaur, the number of bones still remains unknown.

How did they communicate?

With the evolution of time, the dinosaur in general inherited both visual and vocal methods of communication. It was known to communicate by clapping its jaws together, hissing, rubbing its scales together, grinding mandibles against the upper jaws, or using various environmental materials like splashing water. The Leptoceratops living in the late Cretaceous period probably used similar techniques to communicate with each other, but no sources confirm this.

How big was a Leptoceratops?

The length of a Leptoceratops ranged between 6-9 ft (1.8-2.7 m), while the height of the dinosaur ranged from 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m). The Leptoceratops size measured up to 9 ft (2.7 m) in length and 3 ft (0.9 m) in height.

How fast could a Leptoceratops move?

The speed of the Leptoceratops from the order Ceratopsia is still not recorded. It was quadrupedal and could stand and move on its two hind legs.

How much did a Leptoceratops weigh?

The Leptoceratops weighed within the range of 150-440 lb (68-199.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

These dinosaurs did not have sex-specific names. The type species was found and named Leptoceratops gracilis by the American paleontologist Burman Brown, 1914.

What would you call a baby Leptoceratops?

The Leptoceratops baby was called a hatchling or a chick.

What did they eat?

The Leptoceratops was an herbivore with a diet that included fibrous plant material and flowering plants including ferns, cycads, and conifers as primary sources of food. The Leptoceratops tooth showed that it chewed its food by crushing and shearing using dentary and maxillary teeth.

How aggressive were they?

The dinosaur, Leptoceratops gracilis, did not have an aggressive temperament. It didn't prey upon animals, considering it had an herbivorous diet. Further, it was thought of as a gregarious and peaceful animal.

Did you know...

Burman Brown (1914) named and studied the taxonomic classification of the Leptoceratops. It belonged to the suborder Ceratopsia and the family Leptoceratopsidae. The type species was documented as the Leptoceratops gracilis. The Leptoceratops cerorhynchos formerly belonged to the genus Leptoceratops but was later renamed the Montanoceratops in 1942.

What made a Leptoceratops so unusual?

The Leptoceratops, meaning 'slim horned face,' was a Ceratopsian but it did not have horns.

What type of sounds did a Leptoceratops make?

The Leptoceratops was known to make sounds either by moving or by vocalizing.

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 Prosaurolophus facts and Brachytrachelopan facts for kids.

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

 

Main/Hero image- Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com)

Second image- The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Leptoceratops Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fibrous plant material and flowering plants including ferns, cycads, and conifers

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivores

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Brown, gray, black, white, green, blue, orange, and yellow

How Much Did They Weigh?

150-440 lb (68-199.5 kg)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

6-9 ft (1.8-2.7 m)

How Tall Were They?

2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Leptoceratops

Family

Leptoceratopsidae

Scientific Name

Leptoceratops gracilis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters, habitat loss, and predators

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grasslands, forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation

Where Did They Live?

North America
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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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