Fun Medusaceratops Facts For Kids

Ritika Katariya
Jan 30, 2023 By Ritika Katariya
Originally Published on Sep 24, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Medusaceratops facts that kids are sure to love!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The Medusaceratops lokii is a plant eating dinosaur from new Chasmosaurine ceratopsid order. It is a species of the Late Cretaceous period of Campanian, which is the fifth stage of the six geological scales. This geological era ended around 80 million years ago. The fossils are believed to have existed within a bonebed of the Judith river formation of present-day Montana. It was prominently described as the Medusa horned face dinosaur in the year 2010 by paleontologist Michael J Ryan and colleagues who declared it as a second variety of horned dinosaur present. The first discovered specimen was given the description of the Ceratopsidlineage, which is known as the family of horned dinosaurs. The specimens collected were further described as the Chasmosaurine dinosaur. These dinosaurs were first confused with an unrelated but similar Centrosaurine ceratopsian from Alberta. The primary reason for the confusion was the horn and frill of the specimen in the bonebed. Similarly, many species with identical fossils were procured in North America during the late cretaceous period, making it easy to confuse. While most of the horned dinosaurs of the genus had their horns as protective gears against enemies, Paleontologists found something baffling about this beast. They have struggled to make sense out of the biological and environmental purpose of the horn as they don't seem to serve any purpose. They are too short and blunt to fight an enemy or collect fruits from trees.

For more relevant content, check out our dinosaur facts and Brachyceratops facts for kids.

Medusaceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Medusaceratops'?

The word Medusaceratops is made up of two words: Medusa and Ceratops. You can pronounce it by splitting it into two, and it has six syllables: Med-yu-sa-ce-ra-tops.

What type of dinosaur was a Medusaceratops?

The horned dinosaur is a ceratopsian dinosaur meaning; they belong to the order of herbivorous dinosaurs. This lineage also included triceratops. Furthermore, they were classified as centrosaurines which are the large quadrupedals. 

In which geological period did the Medusaceratops roam the earth?

The North American beasts roamed on the Earth in theLate Cretaceous period. This period was the younger of the two epochs in the geological scale. This timeline maps around 78 million years ago on Earth.

When did the Medusaceratops become extinct?

The oldest recorded Chasmosaurine was not traceable beyond the Late Cretaceous period of the mid-Campanian era. Thus their last known existence on the planet was around 78-80 million years ago, after which they were deemed to become extinct. Since it was one of the oldest dinosaur species to ever exist in history, it is difficult to accurately define the timelines.

Where did a Medusaceratops live?

These big beasts were known to inhabit the North American continent where most of the species was found near the Judith river formation, Montana, but their bonebeds are found in Alberta as well. This was probably one of the reasons for the confusion of the Medusaceratops with the Albertaceratops.

What was a Medusaceratops's habitat?

The Medusaceratops habitat is comprised of wild vegetation and occasionally rocky terrains. Since their bones are procured from North-American regions like Montana and Alberta, it is not difficult to assume that these reptiles enjoyed a diverse range of terrains spanning from rocky mountains to grassy plains and fresh streams.

Who did a Medusaceratops live with?

Besides living in herds, a lot of species have been identified in the regions that were inhabited by the Medusaceratops. The Albertaceratops, which was popularly confused with the nominal species, was one of the residents of the same land. Another species that was known to inhabit the region occupied by the Medusaceratops, especially the Judith formation, was the duck-billed dinosaur called 'Trachodon.'

How long did a Medusaceratops live?

While most of the later dinosaurs had a life expectancy of 70-80 years, the Medusaceratops was one of the older dinosaur species, assumed to have lived longer than 80 years. Unfortunately, the exact lifespan of this beast is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

Like most of the terrestrial dinosaurs, the Medusaceratops were oviparous and laid around 15-40 eggs during the breeding seasons and buried them in a shallow pit in the Earth, which served as the nesting and hatching site.

Medusaceratops Fun Facts

What did a Medusaceratops look like?

The large gregarious Medusaceratops skull was the most distinctive feature of this creature which uniquely stood out among all the others. The Medusaceratops size was definitely a gregarious one. Like most Ceratopsids, it was characterized by its beak, rows of teeth in the back of the jaw, elaborate nasal horns. However, it had a two partial skulls rather than three that extended back and up into a frill. The elaborate frill on the head had multiple horns protruding out in a descending manner. Today, the collecta Medusaceratops is a good tool to identify and explore the Medusaceratops Lokii.

The skeleton of the beast as recovered by paleologists
*We've been unable to source an image of Medusaceratops and have used an image of Triceratops instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Medusaceratops, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com

How many bones did a Medusaceratops have?

The herbivore from Montana had five epiparietals which were the horns jutting out of the sides of the skull. Otherwise, it had around 900-1000 bones.

How did they communicate?

Although no confirmations have been made it is widely recognized in the paleontologist community that most of the ceratopsians and triceratops probably engaged their enormous frill-like skulls in order to recognize and communicate with the members of their own species.

How big was a Medusaceratops?

If we compare the Dravidosaurus vs. Medusaceratops, the Dravidosaurus is a stegosaurian who was as long as 9.8 ft (3 m) while the Medusaceratops was a whopping 30 ft (9.1 m), making it three times bigger than the Dravidosaurus.

How fast could a Medusaceratops move?

These residents of the Cretaceous era were not very fast when it came to speed. While most of the Ceratopsians were known to have a speed of 19.9 mph (32 kph), the Medusaceratops was probably slower than 18.6 mph (30 kph)

How much did a Medusaceratops weigh?

While the Dravidosaurus weighed around 803 lb (364.3 kg), the Medusaceratops weighed almost 11023.1 lb (5000 kg), making it almost 13 times heavier than the Dravidosaurus!

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male dinosaurs are called buck and female dinosaurs are called cows.

What would you call a baby Medusaceratops?

A baby is known as a hatchling, just like its cousin reptiles.

What did they eat?

Medusaceratops diet consisted of leaves, plants, fruits, and all the herbivorous items available in the forest. They did not hunt food.

How aggressive were they?

The oldest dinosaurs of North America were moderately aggressive as they do have some records of involvement with other species like stegosaurians.

Did you know...

A huge chunk of information about the Medusaceratops lokii comes from the Royal Tyrrell Museum (ceratopsian Symposium) of natural history, given by Michael J Ryan and his colleagues.

The species name , Lokii, was given as a description in the light of the Norse mythological character Loki, the god of mischief since this specimen was deceptively similar to Albertaceratops. Furthermore, it was affirmed by Ryan that the specimen did not belong to the Albertaceratops. This specimen later turned out to be the Medusaceratops lokii.

The name of Medusaceratops lokii of Montana is known as the new Chasmosaurine ceratopsid.

In the 1990s, the bonebed of Medusaeratops lokii from the Judith river formation was confused with the Albertaceratops nesmoi.

The Medusaceratops had one horn over each eye, known to contain keratin, which is the same material that makes up the human hair and nails.

How did the Medusaceratops get its name?

The word Medusaceratops directly translates to 'Medusa horned face.' Its frill-like parietals with the horns protruding out give an impression of the Greek monster Medusa who had a mane of snakes on her head instead of hair. Thus, this dinosaur derived its name from Medusa.

What's unique about the Medusaceratops?

Although they had recently been discovered, the Medusaceratops is the first known chasmosaurine ceratopsian dinosaur on the fossil record history. It belongs to the genus of Chasmosaurine ceratopsians who typically had a longer horn over their eyes and proportionally long frill, which the Medusaceratops did not. It is also the oldest known of its clade, which is the reason why it's classified twice in different time periods. However, the fossil variant found in Montana, near the Judith river formation, was the newer specimen which was described as the Medusaceratops Lokii by Ryan, Hartman, Russell, Anthony P, David, andScott in 2010. Albertaceratops fossils were the ones that were confused with the fossils of the Medusaceratops. Lokii is described as a Centrosaurine with long brow horns in southern Alberta complete articulated skull of a centrosaur of what appeared to be the new animal from Montana.

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

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

Medusaceratops Facts

What Did They Prey On?

N/A

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

17

What Did They Look Like?

Frill head, gray, yellowish

How Much Did They Weigh?

11023.1 lb (5000 kg)

Skin Type

Tubercles

How Long Were They?

30 ft (9.1 m)

How Tall Were They?

9.8 ft (3 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptile

Genus

Medusaceratops

Family

Ceratopsidae

Scientific Name

Medusaceratops lokii

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grass plains, rocky mountains

Where Did They Live?

Montana
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Written by Ritika Katariya

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritika Katariya picture

Ritika KatariyaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated content writer and language enthusiast, Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Fergusson College. With a keen interest in linguistics and literary adaptations, she has conducted extensive research in these domains. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ritika actively volunteers at her university, providing academic and on-campus assistance to fellow students.

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