Discovery and naming
The first fossils were during the 1960s discovered by the Polish expedition to the Khulsan locality in the Nemegt Basin, Gobi Desert. The specimens were originally described by Teresa Maryańska and Halszka Osmólska in 1975 and named as a second species of Protoceratops, Protoceratops kozlowskii, the specific name honouring Polish paleontologist Roman Kozłowski.
The holotype, ZPAL MgD-I/117, was found in the Barun Goyot Formation dating from the late Campanian. It consists of a juvenile postcranial skeleton. Other specimens were referred: MgD-Ij116, a skul and lower jaws of a juvenile; MgD-Ij 118, fragmentary poctcrania and lower jaws of a juvenile; MgD-Ij119, a dentary and three neural arches; MgD-IjI20, two dentaries and loose teeth; MgD-JjI21, a maxilla fragment with four teeth of a juvenile; and MgD-JjI22, teeth.
They were then named as a separate genus, Breviceratops, by Sergei Mikhailovich Kurzanov in 1990, the generic name combining the Latin brevis, "short", with a reference to the Ceratopia. Kurzanov also referred an additional number of fossils from Khermin Tsav, the type locality of Bagaceratops, to the new genus. The Khermin Tsav specimens closely resemble Bagaceratops, which has led to the proposal that Breviceratops and Bagaceratops are synonymous. However, the type specimen from Khulsan has premaxillary teeth and lacks a foramen between the premaxilla and maxilla, features inconsistent with Bagaceratops.
Breviceratops belonged to the Ceratopsia (the name is Greek for "horned face"), a group of herbivorous dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks which thrived in North America and Asia during the Cretaceous Period. It appears to be most closely related to Protoceratops.
Breviceratops, like all ceratopsians, was an herbivore.
- Timeline of ceratopsian research
- Maryańska, T.; Osmólska, H., 1975, "Protoceratopsidae (Dinosauria) of Asia", Palaeontologica Polonica 33: 133–181
- Kurzanov, S., 1990, "A new Late Cretaceous protoceratopsid genus from Mongolia", Palaeontological Journal, 24: 85-91