Ceratopsia


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Ceratopsia

[‚ser·ə′täp·sē·ə]
(paleontology)
The horned dinosaurs, a suborder of Upper Cretaceous reptiles in the order Ornithischia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ceratopsia

 

(horned dinosaurs), a suborder of reptiles of the order Ornithischia. Horned dinosaurs lived during the Late Cretaceous in Central Asia (the most ancient representatives) and in South and North America. They resembled rhinoceroses and had a body length to 6 m. The neck was encircled by a “frill” of proliferated skull bones. The frill served as protection against predators. The majority of ceratopsians had between one and five horns on the head and, sometimes, accessory bony spines along the edges of the frill. The anterior portion of the jaws formed the “bill.” The teeth were arranged in several rows and served for grinding plant substances. The anterior cervical vertebrae, which supported the heavy skull, were usually concresced. The feet were hoofed. Horned dinosaurs lived in the forest steppe and in meadows near water. They were among the last dinosaurs, becoming extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.