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Prenocephale

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Prenocephale
Prenocephale was a small pachycephalosaurid dinosaur genus from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) and was similar in many ways to its close relative, Homalocephale, which may simply represent Prenocephale juveniles.

Description

Adult Prenocephale probably weighed around 130 kilograms (290 lb) and measured around 2.4 metres (8 ft) long. Unlike the flattened wedge-shaped skull of Homalocephale (a possible juvenile trait also potentially seen in early growth stages of Pachycephalosaurus), the head of Prenocephale was rounded and sloping. The dome had a row of small bony spikes and bumps. It lived in what is now Mongolia, but in high upland forests, not the dry deserts of Mongolia today.

Like some other pachycephalosaurs, Prenocephale is known only from skulls and a few other small bones.[2] For this reason, reconstructions usually depict Prenocephale as sharing the basic body plan common to all of the other Pachycephalosauria: a stout body with a short, thick neck, short forelimbs and tall hind legs.

The head of Prenocephale was comparable to that of Stegoceras, albeit with closed supratemporal fenestrae. Also, the paired grooves above the supraorbitals/prefrontals (along with a posterior parietal that restricts the frontal dome) are absent in Prenocephale. This differentiates the species from Stegoceras, as such features are common in the latter. It has been suggested that Prenocephale's supposed relatives, Sphaerotholus and Homalocephale, are all synoynms of Prenocephale. If this is the case, Prenocephale would have also lived in North America as well as in Mongolia.

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