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Leptoceratops Gracilis


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. This long, slender, low-slung animal browsed on ground cover and other low plants—but it may have been able to extend its reach.

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.

Leptoceratops had a very large head for its body size, and this skull often survives 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.

As an individual, Leptoceratops, a smallish herbivore, may have been quite vulnerable to the formidable predators of the Cretaceous period. Leptoceratops roamed western North America between 67 million and 65 million years ago.