Leptoceratops is an extinct genus of primitive ceratopsian dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous Period (late Maastrichtian age, 66.8-66 Ma ago) of what is now Western North America. Their skulls have been found in Alberta, Canada and in Wyoming.

Though Leptoceratops was 6 to 9 feet (2 to 2.7 meters) long, it was only 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) high at its hips and weighted between 150 and 440 lbs (68 and 200 kilograms).

This long, low-slung animal browsed on ground cover and other low plants like cycads and ferns. The jaws were relatively short and deep and the jaw muscles would have inserted over the large parietosquamosal frill, giving Leptoceratops a powerful bite. The teeth are unusual in that the dentary teeth have dual wear facets, with a vertical wear facet where the maxillary teeth sheared past the crown, and a horizontal wear facet where the maxillary teeth crushed against the dentary teeth. This shows that Leptoceratops chewed with a combination of shearing and crushing. Between the shearing/crushing action of the teeth and the powerful jaws, Leptoceratops was probably able to chew tough plant matter.

Leptoceratops's front legs were shorter than its hind legs, leading to reasoning that it might have been able to stand or even walk on its hind legs, either for the purpose of reaching up for food sources, or running at speed, similar in fashion to how hadrosaur movement is interpreted. Currently, it is believed that Leptoceratops was perfectly capable to walk and stand just on four legs, and probably alternated between quadrupedality and bipedality.

Leptoceratops had a very large head for its body size, and the skull often survives more easily as a fossil. Leptoceratops also had a beaklike snout and a smallish neck frill. It did not sport the dramatic horns and large neck frills that are common in its more advanced and better-known relatives, such as Triceratops.

Leptoceratops lived much later than these ancestral forms as indicated by its entry into the fossil record at a time which would have seen Leptoceratops living in the same locations as the much larger Triceratops, in western North America between 67 million and 66 million years ago. This would suggest that while the ceratopsians descended into large quadrupedal herbivores, there was still an ecological niche where the more primitive ceratopsian body plan could still thrive.

Leptoceratops female concept

Scrapped Female concept by Chris Masnaghetti.

As an individual, Leptoceratops, a smallish herbivore, may have been quite vulnerable to the formidable predators of the Cretaceous period like juvenile Tyrannosaurus, Dakotaraptor, Acheroraptor, and Pectinodon. Its' best defense was likely just to run, although, to fight off an Acheroraptor or Pectinodon, it may have used its formidable bite, which would've broke bones, like in the theories thought of the brawls between Protoceratops and Velociraptor.

In SaurianEdit

Leptoceratops was meant to appear in Saurian before being scrapped. It was to be portrayed with scales and osteoderms running down the length of the body. Its' color was meant to be green with brown and stripes spots and a white underbelly to match its' habitat and a pink neck in males for display.

Behind the scenesEdit

A Unused design by Alex "Doc" Lewko.

In the first design by Alex "Doc" Lewko, the Leptoceratops was a mixture of white and black with light blue striping on the tail and its frill. This design also featured bristle-like feathers running down its neck down to the tip of the tail, with the quills on the tail being the largest.


Leptoceratops design sheet by Chris Masnaghetti featuring scrapped designs.

Leptoceratops was later redesigned by Chris Masnaghetti. During the redesign, Leptoceratops lost its quills, became quadrupedal, and became sexually dimorphic.

As of April 13, 2016, the Leptoceratops had "progressed nicely" and project leader Nick Turinetti wrote to expect a reveal of the model of Leptoceratops in the near future.[1]

It was then later revealed that Leptoceratops was scrapped, because it wasn't found in the particular time period and place that Saurian takes place in.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Turinetti, Nick. (April 17, 2016) April 13th Livestream: The Aftermath. Saurian Website. Retrieved September 14, 2016.