Protoceratops vs. Parksosaurus


Time Period & Environment:
Djadochta Formation, Mongolia, 75 million years ago

Written By: Jackson Sweder

While it should have been confused as to where it found itself, the small Parksosaurus didn’t seem to mind that it was foraging in prehistoric Mongolia instead of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta. As long as it could find soft leaves to browse on, it didn’t mind that it was near an oasis instead of a floodplain. As a fairly small dinosaur at only 2 meters long, the Parksosaurus seems content enough to just nibble on the strange plants it found itself surrounded by.

Moving deeper into the bushes and away from the water’s edge, the Parksosaurus becomes calmer and more content with each step. Even though it is a fast and agile dinosaur, it knows that predators often visit water bodies for the chance to ambush an unsuspecting animal. So, as it moves silently into the cover of the foliage it begins to settle into a pattern of step, listen, nibble. No reason to become complacent even when it feels safe.

After a few minutes, the Parksosaurus emerges into a small clearing among all these bushes. Watching for several moments and seeing no predators, the dinosaur remains calm and begins to walk across the clearing which has several small piles of leaf covered branches. Continuing its past pattern, the dinosaur leans down to nibble on the leaves but a glimpse of white catches its eye. Leaning down to bite a branch it lifts its head and the branch revealing a nest of eggs.

Out of pure curiosity it leans down to sniff at the eggs, but this motion was enough to anger the mother who was just emerging from a nap under a nearby bush. This mother is a Protoceratops who is larger than the Parksosaurus and with a stout beak that can crack through branches.

Dashing to protect its nest the Proroceratops makes it to the nest in a few seconds and before the Parksosaurus can flee, the Protocetatops snaps at the leg of the interloper. If this had been a connecting bite, it probably would have snapped the leg bones of the poror Parksosaurus, but due to its fast reflexes it only receives a small scratch.

Realizing it has outstayed its welcome in this clearing, the Parksosaurus dashes into the bushes and away from this angry mother. The mother Protoceratops, after making sure no eggs were damaged and the nest is covered by new branches, returns to the shade of the bush. But this time it is a little more alert while it watches its nest.

Protoceratops advances!!!

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