dinochecker
Welcome to our CERATOSAURUS entry...
Archived dinosaurs: 812
fb twit g+ feed
Dinosaurs from A to Z
Click a letter to view...
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z ?

CERATOSAURUS

a meat-eating ceratosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurrasic of North America.
ceratosaurus.png
Pronunciation: seh-RAT-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Horned Lizard
Author/s: Marsh (1884)
Synonyms: Megalosaurus nasicornis
First Discovery: Colorado, USA
Chart Position: 42

Ceratosaurus nasicornis

Like all things, the theropod family tree isn't just black and white, and somewhere between the primitive coelophysoids and the advanced tetanurans a particular type of carnivore branched off to do their own thing. These were the ceratosaurs, named after Ceratosaurus, who was one of the Morrison Formation's most common meat-eaters. But members of this family have recently been found in Portugal and Africa too.

Looks-wise Ceratosaurus is hard to miss: a proportionately oversized head, small but powerful arms, a row of small osteoderms running the midline of its tail and back and, of course, a name prompting snout horn plus a cluster of modest hornlets just in front of its eyes. At around six meters long and under a ton in weight, it wasn't in the same league as Saurophaganax, Allosaurus, and Torvosaurus. But being behind the Morrison-bossing trifecta of predators who gorged on the meatiest of prey was far from a bad thing, as this left a nice little niche for Ceratosaurus to exploit.

Because of a somewhat sleek design and long, flexible, crocodile-like tail, some paleontologists have suggested that Ceratosaurus was built for an aquatic lifestyle, or at least for marine hunting. Its insanely-long, flattened, meat-slicing teeth seem all wrong for tackling large, struggling, land-bound prey but ideal for nabbing fish. However, no predator is too proud to scavenge, and Ceratosaurus tooth marks on ground-found fossils show that terrestrial dinosaurs were on the menu when a carcass was there for the taking.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Jurassic
Stage: Kimmeridgian
Age range: 156-151 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: 1.8 meters
Est. max. weight: 750 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
ceratosaurus-size.png
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Ceratosauria
Ceratosauridae
Ceratosaurus
nasicornis
References
• O.C. Marsh (1884) "Principal characters of American Jurassic dinosaurs, part VIII: The order Theropoda".
• R.S. Tykoski and T. Rowe (2004) "Ceratosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• M.T. Carrano and S. D. Sampson (2008) "The Phylogeny of Ceratosauria".
• J.H. Madsen and S.P. Welles (2000) "Ceratosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda): A Revised Osteology".
Email    Facebook    Twitter    Google+    Stumbleupon    Reddit    Pinterest    Delicious
Time stands still for no man, and research is ongoing. If you spot an error, or want to expand, edit or add a dinosaur, please use this form. Go here to contribute to our FAQ.
All dinos are GM free, and no herbivores were eaten during site construction!
To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "CERATOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd May 2017.
  top