Fun Xenoceratops Facts For Kids

Shivangi Pandey
Oct 20, 2022 By Shivangi Pandey
Originally Published on Sep 25, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Read the following horned dinosaur Xenoceratops facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

A new species of horned dinosaur was discovered in Canada on November 15, 2012. Some publications referred to this new species as the progenitor of the world-famous Triceratops based on skull fragments discovered from a bone bed. In reality, the Xenoceratops dinosaur is a member of the centrosaurinae, one of the two main families of ceratopsian dinosaurs, which includes the tiny frilled but large/many horned variants of these unique dinosaurs. Triceratops, on the other hand, is thought to have descended from the chasmosaurine group. The Centrosaurinae group is one of the two major families of ceratopsian dinosaurs. However, because this new species is described based on relatively fragmentary fossil material, additional finds, if they occur, may prompt paleontologists to reconsider.

If you like reading about dinosaurs, take a look at our Zuniceratops and Bravoceratops facts.

Xenoceratops Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Xenoceratops'?

The name of this new species of horned dinosaur is pronounced 'Zee-no-sare-ah-tops'. The name Xenoceratops foremostensis loosely translates as alien horned face, while the species name means from foremost, a neighboring hamlet where the skull fragments were discovered.

What type of dinosaur was a Xenoceratops?

Alberta scientist's discovery of a new species of horned dinosaur resembled Triceratops but lived 15 million years earlier. Triceratops, on the other hand, is thought to have descended from the chasmosaurine group.

In which geological period did the Xenoceratops roam the earth?

It existed between 65 - 66 million years ago, in the late Cretaceous period and inhabited the Western United States and Alberta, Canada.

When did the Xenoceratops become extinct?

With an estimated age of 78 million years, Xenoceratops foremostensis discovery made it the oldest new ceratopsid known from Canada, outliving its cousin Albertaceratops by half a million years. Given the horned dinosaur age and the fact that it possessed long brow horns and a short nasal horn, rather than the long nasal horn-short brow horns combination observed in its later cousins, it's not unexpected that it seems to be near the bottom of the centrosaurine family tree.

Where did a Xenoceratops live?

This new dinosaur lived in what is now Alberta, Canada, around 78 million years ago. The unusual bones were entrusted to Ottawa's Canadian Museum of Nature. The oldest known ceratopsid from Canada is Xenoceratops foremostensis, the new ceratopsid from Alberta's Foremost Formation.

What was a Xenoceratops' habitat?

This horned dinosaur would have known a totally different Alberta from the present, cold Canadian province in the late Cretaceous period. There would have been rainy and dry spells in the subtropical region during the time, but no snow or frost. Today, the region near Foremost is grassland terrain, populated by cattle, the modern equivalent of horned dinosaurs.

Who did a Xenoceratops live with?

Predators related to Tyrannosaurus rex, duck-billed dinosaurs, and ankylosaurs—dinosaurs resembling enormous armadillos with large club tails—would have coexisted with Xenoceratops.

How long did a Xenoceratops live?

At the time of its discovery, it came from a deposit that was 78 million years old. As a result, Xenoceratops is Canada's oldest known horned dinosaur. However, it is not the earliest known horned dinosaur from North America; that honor belongs to Zuniceratops from the United States.

How did they reproduce?

Details on the mating rites have yet to be found and are very unlikely. Dinosaurs built nests in burrows or bed scrapes. Xenoceratops eggs were massive with a strong layered shell there. All of the eggs were amniotic in nature, which means that the embryo was protected by a membrane that also supplied oxygen and other nutrients to the fetus. It has also been revealed that after laying the eggs, female dinosaurs underwent a physiological transformation in which they developed an exterior bone that delivered the calcium needed to create robust eggshells.

Xenoceratops Fun Facts

What did a Xenoceratops look like?

The name means 'alien with horns on his face.' The Xenoceratops fossil featured two large brow horns above small eyes and a turtle-like bent mouth. It's a four-footed, four-legged herbivorous dinosaur with the body of an enormous rhinoceros. It has horn bones over its nose and two huge horn bones coming from either brow above its eye. It has two large spike bones on either side of the frill.

A large frill with two enormous spikes protruded from its head.
*We've been unable to source an image of Xenoceratops and have used a sketch of a herbivorous dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Xenoceratops, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Xenoceratops have?

These dinosaur is related using Xenoceratops skull remains from at least three individuals from the Foremost Formation, which were obtained in the 1950s by Dr. Wann Langston Jr. and are now stored at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada. Xenoceratops skeleton possessed long spearlike horns protruding from its brow and a shieldlike frill extending back from its skull, similar to its better-renowned cousin Triceratops. The remains had horns on its large frill.

How did they communicate?

There is no solid proof that dinosaurs interacted with one another, but given that they were enormous reptiles, we may infer that reptilian behavior was followed. Dinosaurs, according to scientists, communicated with one another through visual displays. A deeper examination of the dinosaur skeletal remains, particularly the cranium, revealed that they produced noises.

How big was a Xenoceratops?

Xenoceratops size was a medium for a horned dinosaur, measuring around 20 ft (6 m) long; African elephant-sized Triceratops was half the size. The new dinosaur, on the other hand, would have been among the biggest ceratopsids alive 80 million years ago.

How fast could a Xenoceratops move?

The smaller and larger the size, the slower the pace. The average-sized dinosaur, on the other hand, was an outstanding runner and quicker than humans. When racing away from other large predators or hunting food, they could reach high speeds.

How much did a Xenoceratops weigh?

It would have been weighing more than 4000 lb (1814.3 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no names that distinguish between male and female dinosaurs based on sex. However, these creatures exhibited sexual dimorphism, which meant that men and females differed in shape, size, and color.

What would you call a baby Xenoceratops?

Because dinosaurs hatched from eggs, we may apply the generic word that is used for all reptiles to dinosaurs as well. A hatchling or a nestling is a baby dinosaur.

What did they eat?

It has a beak at the front of its mouth and, unexpectedly, it was a herbivorous dinosaur that ate plant.

How aggressive were they?

A large hard-plated frilled shield with two massive spikes sprang from the rear of the head, sounds dangerous? The creature's body was enormous and bull-like, with a thick, short tail but except for his trampling on you, there's nothing to be concerned about here.

Did you know...

According to experts, Xenoceratops' colorful frill remains indicate that horned dinosaurs acquired sophisticated cranial decorations very early in their ancestry, adornments that only become more elaborate with time. What we know about horned dinosaurs originates from around 65 - 75 million years ago. It has pushed the evolutionary beginnings back many million years.

How was the Xenoceratops discovered?

Wann Langston, Jr. discovered skull pieces in the Foremost Formation at Foremost, Alberta, in 1958. In terms of dinosaur fauna, the formation is little characterized; aside from teeth, only hadrosaur skeletons and the pachycephalosaurid Colepiocephale have been described. Langston kept the shards in cabinets at Ottawa's Canadian Museum of Nature. David C. Evans and Michael J. Ryan were interested in the specimens in 2003, and a more detailed analysis was undertaken in 2009.

Xenoceratops fossils were discovered in 1958 but remained unnamed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Dr. Ryan and co-author David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto are part of the Southern Alberta Dinosaur Project, which has discovered around ten new dinosaurs, including Xenoceratops.

What does the name 'Xenoceratops' mean?

The name Xenoceratops means foreign horned-face, alluding to the unusual arrangement of horns on its head and above its brow, as well as the scarcity of such horned dinosaurs in this area of the fossil record. Contrary to common perception, this dinosaur was not given the nickname alien horned face due to its unusual headshield decoration or its massive nasal horn. It was the first Ceratopsian to be described from the Foremost Formation, and since it was unusual, it was thought to be foreign to the strata of southwestern Alberta.

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 Homalocephale facts, or Sauropelta facts for kids.

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

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

Xenoceratops Facts

What Did They Prey On?


what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Horned face

How Much Did They Weigh?

4000 lb (1814.3 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

20 ft (6 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Xenoceratops foremostensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Subtropical region

Where Did They Live?

Alberta and Canada
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Written by Shivangi Pandey

Bachelor of Fashion Technology specializing in Fashion Merchandising

Shivangi Pandey picture

Shivangi PandeyBachelor of Fashion Technology specializing in Fashion Merchandising

Shivangi is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Technology from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. She has a strong passion for the English language and communication, with a keen interest in fashion blogging. Shivangi's educational background and interests complement her ability to create engaging and informative content for readers.

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