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

Fast Facts

  • Classification
  • Feeding Habits
  • View Fossil Record
    Fossil Record
    Cretaceous Period
    (141 million years ago - 65 million years ago)


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.

Subscribe to our eNewsletter

Keep up to date on events, special offers and scientific discoveries with our What's On eNewsletter. Receive the latest news on school holiday programs and much more!

Sign up now