Fossil range: Early Jurassic-Cretaceous
Triceratops skeleton at the National Museum of Natural History
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia

Cerapoda is a clade or suborder of the order Ornithischia. They are the sister group of the Thyreophora within the clade Genasauria. They are divided either into two or three groups. The first of these groups were Ornithopoda ("bird-foot"). Cerapods are united by having a thickier layer of enamel on the inside of their lower teeth. The teeth wore unevenly with chewing and developed sharp ridges that allowed cerapods to break down tougher plant food than other dinosaurs. The other two groupd were the Pachycephalosauria ("thick-headed lizards") and Ceratopsia ("horned-face"). These latter two are sometimes combined as Marginocephalia ("fringed heads") owing to their shared features which included the bony shelf they possessed on the back of the skull.

Taxonomy[edit | edit source]

(basal Cerapoda after Butler, 2005)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Butler, R.J. 2005. The 'fabrosaurid' ornithischian dinosaurs of the Upper Elliot Formation (Lower Jurassic) of South Africa and Lesotho. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 145(2):175-218.
  • Sereno, P.C. 1986. Phylogeny of the bird-hipped dinosaurs (order Ornithischia). National Geographic Research 2(2):234-256.

External links[edit | edit source]

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