/ser'euh top"see euhn/, n.
any of several four-footed, herbivorous dinosaurs of the suborder Ceratopsia, of the late Cretaceous Period, having an enlarged skull with a beak, a large perforated frill at the back, and, in some species, one or three horns. Also called horned dinosaur.
[ < NL Ceratopsi(a) (see CERAT-, -OPSIS, -IA) + -AN]

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▪ dinosaur taxon
also called  ceratopian  

      any of a group of plant-eating dinosaurs (dinosaur) from the Cretaceous Period (146 million to 66 million years ago) characterized by a bony frill on the back of the skull and a unique upper beak bone, called a rostral.

   The ceratopsians comprise three lineages (see images). Members of the Psittacosauridae, including Psittacosaurus, were mostly bipedal and lived during the Early Cretaceous; they had a beak, a small frill, and no horns. Members of the Protoceratopsidae, including Protoceratops and Leptoceratops, were mostly quadrupedal and slightly larger and lived from the Early to Late Cretaceous; these dinosaurs had a somewhat larger frill but no horns. The third group, Ceratopsidae, had very large frills and horns on the nose and above the eyes. This group includes Triceratops and Torosaurus. Triceratops was unusual among ceratopsians in that its bony head frill was short and of solid bone; in other forms the frills were larger and mostly open in the centre. Ceratopsidae comprised two lineages: the Chasmosaurinae had large eye horns and small nose horns; the Centrosaurinae had small eye horns and large nose horns.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ceratopsian — n. any of several four footed herbivorous horned dinosaurs with enormous beaked skulls, of the late Cretaceous in North America and Mongolia. Syn: horned dinosaur. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ceratopsian — [ser΄ə täp′sē ən] n. any of a suborder (Ceratopsia) of horned ornithischian dinosaurs of the Cretaceous with a beaklike snout and a bony crest at the back of the head adj. of the ceratopsians …   English World dictionary

  • ceratopsian — noun Etymology: New Latin Ceratopsia, from Ceratops, a genus, from Greek kerat , keras horn + ōps face more at horn, eye Date: 1909 any of a suborder (Ceratopsia) of ornithischian dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous having horns, a sharp horny beak …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ceratopsian — 1. adjective Of or belonging to the Ceratopsia suborder of dinosaurs. Triceratops is a Ceratopsian dinosaur. 2. noun Any member of this suborder …   Wiktionary

  • ceratopsian — [ˌsɛrə tɒpsɪən, ˌkɛr ] noun Palaeontology a gregarious quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur of a group including triceratops, with a bony frill protecting the neck. Origin early 20th cent.: from mod. L. Ceratopsia (plural, from Gk keras, kerat horn + …   English new terms dictionary

  • ceratopsian — cer·a·top·si·an …   English syllables

  • ceratopsian — /sɛrəˈtɒpsiən/ (say seruh topseeuhn) noun a herbivorous dinosaur of the Cretaceous period, with a parrot like beak formed by the bone of the upper jaw, two horns extending sideways, and a bony frill at the back of the skull. {New Latin Ceratops… …   Australian English dictionary

  • ceratopsian — noun any of several four footed herbivorous dinosaurs with enormous beaked skulls; of the late Cretaceous in North America and Mongolia • Syn: ↑horned dinosaur • Hypernyms: ↑ornithischian, ↑ornithischian dinosaur • Hyponyms: ↑protoceratops, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • horned dinosaur — ceratopsian. * * * …   Universalium

  • Ceratopsia — Unikonta Ceratopsians Temporal range: Late Jurassic – Late Cretaceous, 156–65 Ma …   Wikipedia

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