Article | Updated 9 years ago

Styracosaurus illustration

Image Peter Schouten

Styracosaurus lived 75 million years ago on a vast coastal plain in what is now Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA.

Horned dinosaurs (ceratopsians) evolved in Asia 160 million years ago, then colonised North America about 110 million years ago and Europe by 85 million years ago. The first ceratopsians were small, walked on two legs (bipedal) and lacked the large frill and facial horns of later species. Towards the end of the Cretaceous gigantic species evolved and were among the most common dinosaurs in Laramidia, a huge island that formed when the rising sea level divided North America into several continental islands. 75 million years ago, the eastern coastal plain of Laramidia supported the highest diversity of giant herbivores recorded anywhere. Several ceratopsians, including Styracosaurus, coexisted there with numerous species of duckbill dinosaurs, ankylosaurs and other large ornithischians.

(75 million years ago)

A map of North America 75 million years ago

Living together

Sometimes Styracosaurus congregated in herds but probably not to the same extent as Centrosaurus, a very similar looking ceratopsian that lived about 1 million years earlier than it. Triceratops was the last of the ceratopsians and one of the largest. It appears to have been solitary as its bones are not found in bone beds containing many individuals, as several other horned dinosaurs are found.


Tough teeth

A powerful beak and shearing teeth, which were continuously replaced as they wore out, probably allowed Styracosaurus to feed on tough, woody vegetation that other plant-eating dinosaurs may have struggled to eat. Unlike duck-billed dinosaurs, it could not reach leaves on trees.


Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada

Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada
Image copyright


Styracosaurus stood 2.3m tall

Styracosaurus albertensis


Diet Plants
Height 2.3m
Length 5.5m
Width 1.3m