Some paleontologists call these guys "The Sheep of the Cretaceous."
— Allen, describing Protoceratops
Protoceratops ("First-Horned Face") is a sheep-sized ceratopsian dinosaur that lived in what is now Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous Period from about 80-65 million years ago. It is a more primitive relation of the more famous Triceratops.



Protoceratops lived in prehistoric Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous period from 80-65 million years ago. They shared their environment with dinosaurs like Saurolophus, Velociraptor, Mononykus, Therizinosaurus, and Tarbosaurus. They were among the first members of the ceratopsian dinosaur family, hence their name. Protoceratops were also very common during their time in the Mongolian desert. Some paleontologists today call these dinosaurs "The Sheep of the Cretaceous." Protoceratops was first discovered in Mongolia in 1923 by Walter W. Granger and W.K. Gregory.


Although these were relatively small herbivores compared to a majority of other dinosaurs, a fully grown Protoceratops was roughly about the size of a sheep, measuring around 7 feet in length, standing 3-4 feet tall at the hips, and weighing as much as 600 pounds. They are brownish-green in color.

Its forelimbs were shorter than its hind limbs. It also had a short tail and a large head with a small frill They also possessed very strong, formidable, sharp, and powerful beaks with sharp teeth. A strike from their beaks possessed enough force to snap the arms or legs on any animal of similar size and probably even humans.


Protoceratops not only lived in herds like many plant eaters, which their numbers were sometimes small, but they also lived in huge nesting colonies. They were also often solitary creatures as well and also lived in small groups. Protoceratops often clashed for territory with each other and were rather belligerent but are also described as being just as docile as sheep.