Ceratopsians were supposed to have died out millions of years ago, but from the number we have found in ancient art as shown on these pages, they were around much more recently than that.
Does this look like a ceratopsian dinosaur? We think so, but make up your own mind.
"Charles Lang Freer bought this sculpture in 1913 with complete confidence in the inscribed date of 1091.
A decade later, the Freer Gallery's first director, John Ellerton Lodge, mused that the piece seemed "crude and not so early."
In the 1960s the sculpture was reevaluated and the date of 1091 was confirmed by relating the sculpture to similar works in Chinese and foreign collections". Smithsonian Freer Gallery..
"The oldest ceratopsians appeared at the beginning of the Cretaceous, about 140 million years ago. In the Late Cretaceous, about 100 million years ago, the ceratopsians began to diversify in North America and in Asia.
Forms without the enormous horns and frills of Triceratops, in the family Protoceratopsidae, include the Mongolian genus Protoceratops and the unusual bipedal, frill-less dinosaur Psittacosaurus ("parrot-lizard")....
.... 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.
However, other ceratopsians had smaller frills and/or frills with large openings; such frills would have been little defense against a predator.
So ceratopsian frills may also have functioned as heat radiators, or signaling devices, or to attract mates, in addition to whatever protective function they may or may not have had". Source: Carroll, R.L. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution.
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