Psittacosaurus Click to enlarge image
Image: James Reece
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    sinensis
    Genus
    Psittacosaurus
    Family
    Psittacosauridae
  • Feeding Habits
    herbivore
  • View Fossil Record
    Fossil Record
    Cretaceous Period
    (141 million years ago - 65 million years ago)

Introduction

Psittacosaurus sinensis was a small, herbivorous dinosaur which lived around 126-101 million years ago. It is one of the earliest known ceratopsian dinosaurs. It was named after the Latin word for parrot, Psittacus, as it had a parrot-like beak.

Feeding and diet

Psittacosaurus sinensis was a plant-eater that had:

  • a curved, parrot-like beak that helped it to pry open fleshy cones and seeds
  • short forelegs that it used for grasping foliage.

Evolutionary relationships

Psittacosaurus sinensis was a primitive horned dinosaur or ceratopsian. It belonged to the Asian family Psittacosauridae, several species of which lived during the Early Cretaceous.


Tyrannosaurs - Meet the Family

This summer the world’s most feared dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex, comes crashing out the Cretaceous and into the new blockbuster gallery at the Australian Museum. But watch out, the 13-metre-long, saw-toothed predator isn’t coming alone – the whole tyrannosaur clan will be roaring to meet you.

Discover the exhibition