One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gregarious quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur of a group found in the Cretaceous period, including triceratops. It had a large beaked and horned head and a bony frill protecting the neck.
- ‘Within dinosaur families that had relatively similar body types, such as the hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs) or ceratopsians (such as Triceratops), there is an incredible range of diversity.’
- ‘The huge, heavy ‘frill’ of ceratopsians such as Triceratops may have served as armor against the attacks of saurischian predators like Tyrannosaurus, which lived in the same time and place as Triceratops.’
- ‘An alternate view, that ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs diverged from ornithopod dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic, is more consistent with the preserved biostratigraphic evidence.’
- ‘The ornithischians (‘bird-hipped’ dinosaurs) are herbivores, and include the plated Stegosaurus, the armored Ankylosaurus, horned ceratopsians, and duck-billed hadrosaurids.’
- ‘Scientists do not know why ceratopsians of the Late Cretaceous (75 to 65 million years ago) evolved large horns and frills.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Ceratopsia (plural) (from Greek keras, kerat- ‘horn’ + ops ‘face’) + -an.
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