Preparing a Script for the Wild Past Protoceratops

By |2024-02-20T20:27:15+00:00May 17th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Scripting a Video Review of the Wild Past Protoceratops Model

Everything Dinosaur team members have been working on a video review of the recently introduced Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model.  The model, representing Protoceratops andrewsi is the first prehistoric animal in this exciting new range.  Our video review, due to be published shortly on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel, will look at the model, the nest of young Protoceratops and comment on the excellent packaging.  We also intend to provide a little bit of scientific information about Protoceratops and the two species that currently comprise this genus (P. andrewsi and P. hellenikorhinus).

The Wild Past Protoceratops

The Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model (Still from Video Review)

Wild Past Protoceratops model.
A bird-hipped dinosaur in the hand.  The Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi model. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Synonymous with Dinosaur Eggs

Protoceratops is synonymous with the discovery of dinosaur eggs.  Eggshell fragments were found in the area of the Flaming Cliffs by the American Museum of Natural History expedition in 1922 and they returned to the same area in the following year and discovered several nests full of fossilised eggs.  As Protoceratops was the most abundant dinosaur known from the Djadokhta Formation it was assumed that the nests had been created by “first horned face”.

The discovery of a fragmentary bird-like fossil found within ten centimetres from the eggs, immediately put this strange theropod under suspicion of having been overtaken by a sandstorm whilst in the process of raiding the Protoceratops nest.  This new dinosaur was subsequently named Oviraptor philoceratops which translates as “Egg thief with a liking for Protoceratops”.

A “Classic” Dinosaur Illustration Protoceratops Confronts the “Egg Thief” Oviraptor

Protoceratops defends its nest from Oviraptor.
Protoceratops confronts Oviraptor- the egg thief.  A “classic” dinosaur illustration by Rudolph F. Zallinger.  A re-interpretation of the fossil evidence indicates that “egg thief” was actually brooding the eggs on the nest.

Picture credit: Rudolph F. Zallinger

Slandering Oviraptor

We now know that the name Oviraptor slanders this dinosaur, it was not stealing the eggs but brooding them, a more appropriate name might be “conscientious lizard”, the first oviraptorid dinosaur ever to be scientifically described, died whilst protecting its own young.  However, the rules surrounding zoological names are clear, you cannot change a name, no matter how inappropriate it subsequently turns out to be.

The Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi with Nest

The Wild Past Protoceratops and Nest.
The Wild Past Protoceratops and the nest of Protoceratops babies that accompanies the model. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

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Wild Past Protoceratops Model Complete with Nest

In 2011,  a scientific paper was published that finally described a nest associated Protoceratops andrewsi that had been recovered from the Djadokhta Formation.  Just like the Wild Past model, the nest contained recently hatched babies.  Analysis of their tiny fossil bones demonstrated that the baby Protoceratops were incapable of moving far on their own and that Protoceratops probably was an altricial species, that is, the young relied on their parents to feed them and to look after them.

There is much to be admired in the details shown in the Wild Past Protoceratops nest and it is great to see that this replica comes with a nest of youngsters reflecting the fossil record.

To view the Wild Past section of the Everything Dinosaur website including the Protoceratops model: Wild Past Prehistoric Animals.