Ceratosaurus

ceratosaurus at Wingham Wildlife Park

Distribution:

Ceratosaurus lived on Laramidia. During the Jurassic period the super continent of Pangaea had begun to drift apart and new continents and seas were being created. During this period North America was split into two separate continents. To the East was Appalachia and to the west was the island continent of Laramidia.

Time Period:

The Ceratosaurus existed 156-145 million years ago during the late Jurassic period. This was the second part of the Mesozoic Era and is also known as the age of the dinosaurs. During this period reptiles were the dominant animals on the planet and some of the largest dinosaur species to ever live existed during this time.

Size:

These dinosaurs were 5.5 meters (18ft) long and 2 meters (6ft) high, weighing 450kg

Diet:

The Ceratosaurus was a Carnivore which specialised in aquatic prey such as fish.

Interesting fact:

Their name means ‘horned lizard’ so named because of the horn at the end of its snout. It’s believed to have been used by males fighting over their breeding rights. Another use for their horn may have been to help hatch-lings break out of their eggs. Their flexible bodies and long tails would have made them great swimmers. Their existence was probably like that of a modern-day crocodile waiting for prey as they lurked beneath the water. Their tail was also like a crocodile’s tail, which could have helped to propel and steer them through the water. They had a row of bony plates called osteoderms running along their spine which most dinosaurs developed as a form of defence. This suggests that despite being a large, fierce dinosaur itself, Ceratosaurus may have been prey to even larger dinosaurs.

Ceratosaurus has proven itself to be a very popular dinosaur over the years. It has featured regularly in films, such as ‘Brute Force’ (1914), ‘One Million Years BC’ (1966) and in Jurassic Park III (2001) since it was discovered in the late 1800s.