Protoceratops Timeline

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Protoceratops Timeline

220 million years ago
First dinosaurs evolve during the Triassic period.
85 million years ago
Protoceratops first evolves during the Upper Cretaceous period.


80 million years ago
Protoceratops extinct.
65 million years ago
Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event: All non-avian dinosaurs go extinct (although of course Protoceratops has already been extinct for many millions of years by this time).

The K/T Extinction Event may have been caused by an asteroid impact:
K/T Extinction Event may have been caused by an asteroid impact

675 BCE
Ancient Greeks start to mention the legend of the Griffin. It may be that this legend was inspired by Protoceratops fossils.
James B. Shackelford, a photographer in an American expedition to the Gobi desert in Mongolia, finds Protoceratops fossils.

James B. Shackelford:
James B. Shackelford

Walter Granger and W.K. Gregory describe and name the first Protoceratops species: Protoceratops andrewsi.
A fossil is found with a Protoceratops locked in apparent combat with a Velociraptor - the two are believed to have died simultaneously, perhaps in a sandstorm.
Teresa Maryanska and Halszka Osmólska describe a second Protoceratops species, Protoceratops kozlowskii. Most scientists now consider this invalid - their specimen is thought to be of an example of a different animal, Bagaceratops.
A second valid species of Protoceratops is described and named: Protoceratops hellenikorhinus.
A Protoceratops specimen that was uncovered in 1965 is found to be preserved with its own footprint - the first known example of a dinosaur fossil preserved with its own footprint.
A fossilized nest with 15 young Protoceratops andrewsi is found. It is the first Protoceratops nest to be found, and suggests that Protoceratops may have cared for their young.

Protoceratops andrewsi Exhibit
American Museum of Natural History, New York City:
Protoceratops andrewsi Exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History


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