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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: †Ornithischia
Cladus: †Genasauria
Cladus: †Neornithischia
Cladus: †Cerapoda
Cladus: †Marginocephalia
Subordo: †Ceratopsia
Cladus: †Neoceratopsia

Familia: †Leptoceratopsidae
Genus: †Asiaceratops
Species (2): A. salsopaludalis – A. sulcidens

Asiaceratops Nesov & Kaznyshkina in Nesov, Kaznyshkina & Cherepanov, 1989

Primary references

Nesov, L.A.; Kaznyshkina, L.F.; Cherepanov, G.O. 1989: Mesozoic dinosaurians - ceratopses and crocodiles of Central Asia. Trudy Sessii Vsesoyuznogo Paleontologicheskogo Obshchestva, 33: 144–154. [not seen]


Nomenclator Zoologicus

Asiaceratops (meaning "Asian horned face") is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur. It lived during the Early-Late Cretaceous. The type species, A. salsopaludalis is known from Uzbekistan, while A. sulcidens is known from China and Mongolia.
Discovery and naming

The type species, Asiaceratops salsopaludalis, was formally described by Lev Nesov, L.F. Kaznyshkina and Gennadiy Olegovich Cherepanov in 1989. The generic name combines a reference to Asia with ~ceratops, "horned face". The specific name means "of the salt marsh" in Latin. In the same publication Microceratops sulcidens Bohlin 1953 was renamed into a second species of Asiaceratops: Asiaceratops sulcidens.[1]

The holotype of Asiaceratops salsopaludalis, CCMGE 9/12457, was found in Uzbekistan in a layer of the Khodzhakul Formation dating from the early Cenomanian, about ninety-nine million years old. It consists of a part of a left maxilla. Some other fragments were in 1989 referred to the species, among them teeth and a phalanx. In 1995 Nesov referred more material, from three Uzbek sites, mostly skull elements and a partial humerus, of individuals of different ages.[2]

A second species, A. sulcidens, was created to house Microceratus sulcidens.[3] It is known from remains discovered in Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian)-aged rocks located in China (Xinminpu Group) and Mongolia and the holotype of A. sulcidens, no inventory number given, consists of two teeth, centra, an incomplete tibia, tarsals and left pes.[3][1]

Asiaceratops has often been considered a nomen dubium, in view of the limited holotype material.[4] A basicranium tentatively referred to Asiaceratops may show diagnostic characters of the taxon.[5]

Asiaceratops belonged to the Ceratopsia (the name is Greek for "horned faces"), a group of herbivorous dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks which thrived in North America and Asia during the Cretaceous Period, which ended roughly 66 million years ago. All ceratopsians became extinct at the end of this era.

In 1995 Nesov assigned Asiaceratops to an Asiaceratopsinae of its own.[2] Recent cladistic analyses indicated, despite the presumed status as a nomen dubium, a basal position in the Leptoceratopsidae.[6]

Asiaceratops, like all ceratopsians, was a herbivore. During the Cretaceous, flowering plants were "geographically limited on the landscape", and so it is likely that this dinosaur fed on the predominant plants of the era: ferns, cycads, and conifers. It would have used its sharp ceratopsian beak to bite off the leaves or needles.
See also

Dinosaurs portal

Timeline of ceratopsian research


L.A. Nessov, L F. Kaznyshkina, and G.O. Cherepanov. (1989). [Mesozoic ceratopsian dinosaurs and crocodiles of central Asia]. In: Bogdanova and Khozatskii (eds.), Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Modern Palaeontology pp 144-154
L.A. Nessov, (1995), Dinozavri severnoi Yevrazii: Novye dannye o sostave kompleksov, ekologii i paleobiogeografii, Institute for Scientific Research on the Earth's Crust, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg 156 pp
Bohlin, B. (1953). Fossil reptiles from Mongolia and Kansu. Reports from the Scientific Expedition to the North-western Provinces of China under Leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. VI. Vertebrate Palaeontology 6. The Sino-Swedish Expedition Publications 37, 113 pp
H. You and P. Dodson. (2004). "Basal Ceratopsia". In: D.B. Weishampel, H. Osmolska, and P. Dodson (eds.), The Dinosauria (2nd edition). University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 478-493
Makovicky, Peter J.; Norell, Mark A. (2006). "Yamaceratops dorngobiensis, a new primitive ceratopsian (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Cretaceous of Mongolia" (PDF). American Museum Novitates (3530): 1–42. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2006)3530[1:YDANPC]2.0.CO;2.
M.J. Ryan, D.C. Evans, P.J. Currie, C.M. Brown, and D. Brinkman, (2012), "New leptoceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada", Cretaceous Research 35(1): 69-80


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