Micropachycephalosaurus

The Micropachycephalosaurus was a genus of dinosaurs that inhabited our planet during the Cretaceous period (approximately 83 million years ago). It is classified within the group of the Ceratopsian dinosaurs.

This genus, as its name indicates, would have been small in size. It was barely 1 meter long and only about 35 centimeters high. It is considered as one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found and it would certainly be included in a ranking of the smallest dinosaurs in history.

The Micropachycephalosaurus was discovered in China. During the Cretaceous period, the area where the current China is located would have had a habitat with enough vegetation to feed this small herbivore.

This is just the introduction, if you want to know more read on. Below you will find all the information about the Micropachycephalosaurus that exists today. Do you dare to discover everything about this small herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous period?

Micropachycephalosaurus Taxonomy

The specimen belongs to the Animalia kingdom.
Corresponding to the phylum Chordata.
Of the Sauropsida class.

  • Belongs to the superorder Dinosauria.
  • The animal corresponds to the order Ornithischia.
  • It belongs to the suborder Neornithischia.
  • Being part of the suborder Ceratopsia.
  • Considered to be of the clade Marginocephalia.
  • From the genus Micropachycephalosaurus.
  • Represented only by the species Micropachycephalosaurus hongtuyanensis.

The significance of the name of the specimen is something like “small lizard with a wide head”. During the Cretaceous period this animal tried to survive and prolong its species as much as possible, as well as trying to avoid being killed by any kind of threat.

The name of this specimen is really something difficult to pronounce, being the longest of all the specimens of the prehistory known as dinosaurs, counting with a total of more than 20 letters.

The vestiges of this specimen were located in a territory known as Shandong, precisely in a place that has been baptized as the famous Wangshi Series, under a large set of sediments that prevented investigations and extractions from being easier, as it usually is.

Almost two years before the arrival of the 1980s, a scientist from the Asian country of China, now identified as Zhiming Dong, was in charge of reviewing the animal, which he did a wonderful job that still serves as a guide for other prestigious palaeontologists today.

The great quality that led to a correct classification of the animal was related to the shape of its skull, which turns out to be different from the shape of a vault, so that a kind of opening can be clearly seen in the upper zone of the storm.
In addition, we can easily detect a bony element in the shape of a picture, this detail shows that in reality this unique specimen is a direct relative of the famous Homalocephale.

Later, after many decades, precisely in the first years of the 21st century, a scientist identified under the surname of Sullivan, took the task of carrying out a new study and evaluating again if the classification of the animal would have been done correctly.

A study that took a lot of time and dedication, but in the end fortunately gave several positive results, since small modifications were made to the data we know about the specimen.

Characteristics of Micropachycephalosaurus

The characteristics of this specimen are the following: it did not exceed half a meter in length, so it is considered until today as one of the animals of prehistory with smaller dimensions, in terms of its volume only came to weigh 20 kilos, all this because their strict diet was based on vegetables, which were really abundant in the Asian territory where it was developed.

This Asian territory is what we know today as Shandong, a place located in the country of China. Another very interesting detail of this strange specimen is that it is quite possible that its skin was similar to that of the plants of that time, so it can be said that there were several stripes on its skin that helped in the process of camouflage, to avoid being detected by large predators with a lot of appetite, it seems that everything was allowed in order to survive the threats.

This specimen called Micropachycephalosaurus developed its existence on the ground, it did not worry about climbing trees or reaching vegetables that were not at its height, it was enough with the vegetables that were on the surface of the floor, because the other specimens of its time were much larger and they did not care about the vegetation that was too low.

That is why it is said that their food was abundant, something necessary for this specimen since it was really active during almost the whole day.

The small animal did not measure more than 50 centimeters long, as we had already mentioned in the initial part of this text, its height was around a third of a meter and its volume is now considered to be a maximum of 10 kilos.
The skull of this creature was not as solid as many paleontologists believed from the beginning, since it is known that with not so intense blows it could fracture quite quickly, so it probably could not be used as a lethal weapon to defend itself against threats from other animals.

Another detail we know about this Micropachycephalosaurus is that they used these skulls not to hit each other during the mating season but only to deign to use it to give various pushes to their opponents, and the one that managed to make the opponent retreat was finally the one that had more success with the females of the herd.

Behavior of Micropachycephalosaurus

Regarding the dental structure of this specimen we can observe that the elements were located as in a series, they were quite solid and could resist great pressures, which was quite useful both for feeding and for defending oneself, on the other hand we know that the roots of these dental elements have the particular elliptical shape, as in other related specimens, as well as we can also notice that the enamel was in charge of covering a great part of the tooth.

This dental structure led many scientists to make the mistake of thinking that it was a dinosaur known as Tescelosaurus, due to the shape that these dental elements possessed, while other paleontologists firmly believed that they were studying a specimen called Wannanosaurus, because of its size.

The latest classification provided by recent studies places this specimen within the ceratopsies, actually as a member of primitive quality, which changes a little the about what we know about the Micropachycephalosaurus.