The Probactrosaurus was a large ornithopod dinosaur that lived during the Lower Cretaceous, approximately 121 million years ago. It also belonged to the superfamily Hadrosauroidea, which included other duck-billed dinosaurs.

Key facts

Probactrosaurus pronunciationProh-bak-troh-sore-us
What does Probactrosaurus mean?Before Bactrosaurus
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivore
Length18′ (5.5 meters)
Height8′ 2″ (2.5 meters)
Weight2200 lbs (1000 kgs)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadruped
Estimated top speedUnknown, but studies suggest that they could have been fast animals.
When they livedLower Cretaceous Period, around 121-99 million years ago.
Where they have been found?Inner Mongolia, in China

When & Where

The fossils of the Probactrosaurus were first discovered in 1959 and 1960 during a Soviet-Chinese exploration in Inner Mongolia, near Moartu. The remains that were recovered were of an ornithopod which was later described by A. K. Rozhdestvensky in 1966.

Size & Weight

Studies suggest that this dinosaur possessed a length of 18’ (5.5 meters), a height of 8’2” (2.5 meters) , and a weight of 2200 lbs ton (1000kgs).

Mobility & Diet

Just like most ornithopods, the Probactrosaurus was a herbivore. This dinosaur ate plant materials such as conifers and ferns during its time. Some studies also suggest that herbivorous dinosaurs might have eaten crustaceans at certain times of the year. This behavior is believed to be linked to their mating behavior according to Dr. Karen Chin, an American Paleontologist. 

Interesting Points

  • The name Probactrosaurus means “Before Bactrosaurus” as the Probactrosaurus lived during the Early Cretaceous which was 121-99 million years ago while the Bactrosaurus lived after which was 100.5 million years ago – 70.6 million years ago.
  • There had been 2 different specimens found by paleontologists.

Featured Image Credit: Debivort, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons