Fun Styracosaurus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 16, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Styracosaurus facts are about a dinosaur with neck frill from 75 million years ago.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

Styracosaurus albertensis was a centrosaurine ceratopsian, closely related to the Centrosaurus. Its name literally translates to 'spiked lizard' and was given by Lawrence Lambe. This dinosaur was endemic to North America, with the fossil of the type species being recovered from Alberta, Canada. Styracosaurus lived during the later stages of the Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago. It was one of the last ceratopsians to have evolved. Currently, fossil remains of this majestic 'spiked lizard' species are kept in the American Museum of Natural History, Natural History Museum Utah, and a few other places.

Similar to other members of this group, like Einiosaurus, Styracosaurus albertensis also had horns and a neck frill with four to six horns or spikes on it. The nose horn had a length of about 23.6 in (60 cm). Being a herbivore, the diet of Styracosaurus consisted of cycads and ferns. They may have lived in herds to gain protection against predators. The classification of Styracosaurus albertensis was a matter of debate, as more than one species of Styracosaurus were proposed over time. For instance, Barnum Brown assigned his collected specimen of Styracosaurus bones to a new species. However, currently, there are only one accepted species under this genus.

To learn more about Styracosaurus, keep reading! You can also check out Miragaia and Hamipterus facts for more.

Styracosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Styracosaurus'?

The pronunciation of the name 'Styracosaurus' is 'Sty-rak-oh-sore-us'. This name literally translates to 'spiked lizard'.

What type of dinosaur was a Styracosaurus?

Styracosaurus was a ceratopsian dinosaur of North America, belonging to the family Ceratopsidae. Other members of this family are Triceratops, Einiosaurus, and Centrosaurus. The dinosaurs of this group are characterized by horns and frills.

In which geological period did the Styracosaurus roam the earth?

The horned Styracosaurus lived about 75 million years ago. This age was a part of the Late Cretaceous period and corresponded to the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous.

When did the Styracosaurus become extinct?

Styracosaurus was probably one of the last few dinosaurs to evolve in the Late Cretaceous period before the K-T extinction event took place. This dinosaur became extinct in the Late Cretaceous itself. The extinction may have been triggered by environmental changes which were brought on by the cooling of the Earth's climate.

Where did a Styracosaurus live?

The fossil remains of Styracosaurus were discovered in the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta, Canada in North America. The fossils were excavated from the Dinosaur Park Formation. So, it has been estimated that these dinosaurs were native and endemic to North America.

What was a Styracosaurus's habitat?

The Dinosaur Park Formation in Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta, Canada was characterized by floodplains and rivers that progressively became more and more swampy over time. The Late Cretaceous climate was warmer than the conditions of today. However, there was sufficient rainfall as well. In terms of vegetation, conifers, ferns, and angiosperms were present in large numbers, with conifers being the dominant flora of the region.

Who did a Styracosaurus live with?

Some paleontologists assume that the Styracosaurus dinosaur was social in nature and lived in herds, probably as a form of protection against predators. This assumption is supported by the discovery of bonebeds with numerous fossils of multiple of these horned dinosaurs. However, an alternative explanation for such bonebeds has also been presented. It has been hypothesized that the Styracosaurus dinosaurs were actually solitary who gathered near a water source during the dry season. However, due to a lack of water, they all died together, resulting in the bone bed that paleontologists have discovered in present times. Hence, the social structure and behavior of this ceratopsid animal are under further research.

How long did a Styracosaurus live?

The Styracosaurus dinosaur's exact lifespan is yet to be ascertained. However, it can be assumed that this animal lived between 50-70 years, like a few other ceratopsians.

How did they reproduce?

Styracosaurus albertensis dinosaurs were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. Extensive information about the reproductive patterns and habits exhibited by these ceratopsians has not been established, yet. It is possible that the members of the Styracosaurus genus took part in parental care.

Styracosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Styracosaurus look like?

The body of Styracosaurus is often compared to the present-day rhinoceros, for being quite bulky and having a short tail. It had short legs, however, the legs at the back were longer than those at the front.

The Styracosaurus skull has revealed a lot of information about the facial features of this dinosaur. Its skull was quite big with a sizeable nostril and a vertically placed nose horn. The type specimen collected by Lawrence Lambe had an incomplete nose horn measuring 22 in (55.8 cm). Like other ceratopsians, this species also had a neck frill, with four to six horns or spikes appearing to emerge out of it. Additionally, it also had shorter horns placed on its cheekbones. There was also the presence of a beak-like structure in this dinosaur's skull. It had cheek teeth placed in groups called batteries. In such dentition, the older teeth would get replaced by newer teeth continuously, and hence, all teeth would not be in use at the same time.

Read all the amazing facts about the Styracosaurus.

How many bones did a Styracosaurus have?

Since a complete skeleton of Styracosaurus is yet to be discovered, researchers have not been able to confirm the total number of bones these horned dinosaurs had. However, a Triceratops probably had around 985 bones. So, a similar range can be expected for the Styracosaurus albertensis.

How did they communicate?

The methods of communication in the Styracosaurus have been a matter of debate in the world of paleontology. A lot of researchers suggest that the frill in Styracosaurus may have been its main tool for communication. The frill of this ceratopsian had holes where blood could've rushed in resulting in the frill producing vivid colors in order to signal to other members of its own species.

How big was a Styracosaurus?

The Styracosaurus size was considerably large. The length of this dinosaur was 18 ft (5.5 m), while its height was around 5.9 ft (1.8 m). However, in comparison to the ceratopsian Triceratops, which grew to a length of 30 ft (9 m), the Styracosaurus was much smaller.

How fast could a Styracosaurus move?

The estimated speed of the species S. albertensis is 19.8 mph (32 kph).

How much did a Styracosaurus weigh?

The weight of the Styracosaurus species is estimated to be around 3.3 ton (3000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names assigned to the male and female dinosaurs of the Styracosaurus albertensis species.

What would you call a baby Styracosaurus?

A baby Styracosaurus dinosaur is known as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Styracosaurus was a herbivore or plant-eater. The diet of this dinosaur included cycads, ferns, and palms. It has been assumed that this dinosaur was a low-browser, a behavior that has been deduced in other ceratopsians, as well. Some paleontologists have suggested that this horned dinosaur was capable of knocking down trees in order to feed on the softer part of the plant.

How aggressive were they?

Given the herbivorous nature of this dinosaur, it is likely that they weren't aggressive, in general. In fact, the Styracosaurus dinosaurs probably lived in herds to gain protection from predators, themselves.

Did you know...

A study into the evolution of Styracosaurus albertensis has revealed it was the ancestral dinosaur to Pachyrhinosaurus that existed around 68 million years ago.

Did Styracosaurus live with triceratops?

The dinosaurs of the genera Styracosaurus and Triceratops belonged to different time periods and hence, did not live together. While the Styracosaurus dinosaurs belonged to the Campanian stage of the Late or Upper Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago, Triceratops was present during the Maastrichtian stage of the same period, which took place around 66 million years ago. This Cretaceous period was characterized by a warm climate, which can be attributed to the higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How many Styracosaurus fossils have been found?

Styracosaurus is one of the most well-known centrosaurine ceratopsians, as a total of 10 different fossils of this dinosaur have been excavated over the years, including some almost complete fossils and bone beds.

The first Styracosaurus fossil, which was an almost complete skull, was discovered by C.M Sternberg and was eventually named by Lawrence Lambe in 1913. The fossil collected had the lower jaw and some parts of the skeleton missing, most of which were recovered in 1935.

In 1915, an expedition led by Barnum Brown and his crew, a part of the American Museum of Natural History Museum, led to the finding of an almost complete skeleton along with a partial skull and left lower jaw. However, Brown considered these remains to belong to another species of Styracosaurus and named it S. parksi. A further collection of skull bones by paleontologists of the Royal Tyrrell Museum from the same site proved that S. parksi is actually the same as S. albertensis.

Apart from all this, a bone bed of Styracosaurus had also been excavated in the Dinosaur Provincial Park.

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 Agujaceratops facts and Sinocalliopteryx fun facts pages.

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

*The second image is by Fanboyphilosopher (Neil Pezzoni).

Styracosaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

N/A

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Massive skull with horns and frill, stout body, short legs, and tail

How Much Did They Weigh?

3.3 ton (3000 kg)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

18 ft (5.5 m)

How Tall Were They?

5.9 ft (1.8 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Styracosaurus

Family

Ceratopsidae

Scientific Name

Styracosaurus albertensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial

Where Did They Live?

Canada in North America
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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