Goyocephale is a theropod that came from the Pachycephalosauria ornithischian genus. It is believed to exist from the Santonian Age to Maastrichtian Age in the Upper Cretaceous. This flat-headed Pachycephalosauria is closely related to Homalocephale and Wannanosaurus from the late Cretaceous in central and eastern Asia. 

Key Facts

Goyocephale pronunciationGoy-o-sef-a-lay
What does Goyocephale mean?The Goyocephale name came from the Mongolian word, goyo, meaning “decorated” and the Ancient Greek word kephale which means “head”.
Dinosaur typePachycephalosauria
On the menuHerbivore
Length6 feet (1.8 m)
Height2 feet (0.5m)
Weight10-40 kg
Life expectancyDue to a lack of studies and research, it is quite unknown if how long is their lifespan. However, it’s known that they survived 81 to 75 million years ago.
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedDue to a lack of studies, there’s no definite answer as to how fast they can run. However, with their legs and light body, scientists assume that they can move very fast.
When they livedUpper Cretaceous period, about 76 million years ago.
Where they have been found?This herbivorous dinosaur used to inhabit Arkhangai, Mongolia where most of their fossils were recovered. Since they are plant-eaters, they settle on grasslands and forests. Since Mongolia has a harsh habitat, it is assumed that Goyocephale dinosaurs survived on very little vegetation and water and most of them weren’t able to have full life cycles and died early. Some scientists believe that it’s due to the harsh environment that they became extinct.

When & Where

The incomplete skull and other fossils were found in Arkangi, Mongolia in 1982, it was discovered, described and named by Perle, Teresa Maryaska and Osmolska. It was described as a horribly mutilated skeleton with incomplete parts including the skull, part of the head region, hindlimb, a part of the pelvic girdle and a few vertebrae. 

Size & Weight

Goyocephale is about 1.8 m long, 2 feet tall and measures about 10-40 kg in weight. 

Mobility & Diet

They used to eat plants in the upper Cretaceous of Mongolia Acta Palaeontologica. Their diet is either herbivore or omnivore. In terms of their movement, they are not the aggressive type of dinosaurs. The big, canine teeth they had were most likely used in deterring other animals. This type of behavior can also be seen in other prehistoric deer species and heterodontosaurus. 

Interesting Points

  • It’s well-known for having an incomplete skull which includes the braincase, flat dome, posterior, maxilla, and premaxilla
  • Unlike the other Pachycephalosaurus which have solid masses of bone, this Goyocephale had rudimentary ornamentation on the head which had holes 
  • They were assumed to be extinct during the mid-Paleogene era. – Goyocephale used to live solitarily, probably because of the intense competition with the little resources they have, where a group life wasn’t sustainable for them to survive.
  • Goyocephale seems to have great similarities with the Homalocephale but it’s still distinguishable from Homalocephale from its overall size. 
  • There’s only one skeleton discovered, which explains why the details about this dinosaur are very limited
  • The skeleton only consists of an incomplete skull, broken postcranial material, mandibles, and a few more parts