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Ceratosaurus was a powerful predator that walked on two strong legs, had a strong, s-shaped neck, and had a short horn on its snout. It had a massive tail, a bulky body, and heavy bones. Its arms were short and it had four-fingered hands (a primitive configuration) with sharp claws. It also had large eyes (and therefore probably had very good eyesight).
Ceratosaurus was 15 to 20 feet long (4.5 to 6 m) long, weighing roughly 0.5 to 1 ton (500 kg to 1 tonne). It had a skull a snout horn and two short brow ridges, and bony knobs and ridges above its eyes and on the top of the head. This common hunter had large, powerful jaws with long, sharp, teeth.
WHEN CERATOSAURUS LIVED
Ceratosaurus was a large but common meat-eater from the late Jurassic period, about 156 million to 145 million years ago.
Ceratosaurus may have hunted in groups. In groups, Ceratosaurus could have ambushed even the very large sauropods. Ceratosaurus competed with the giant predator Allosaurus for iguanodonts, stegosaurs, sauropods.
Ceratosaurus was a theropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was high among the dinosaurs.
Ceratosaurus was a carnivore, a meat eater. It was a large, fierce predator that could kill even large sauropods. Ceratosaurus may also have been a scavenger.
Ceratosaurus walked on two muscular legs.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Ceratosaurus was named in 1884 by paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh, who theorized that Ceratosaurus was a good swimmer, like the crocodilians (since it had a long, thin tail). Many Ceratosaurus fossils have been found, in Colorado and Utah, USA, and in Tanzania, Africa.
Ceratosaurus belonged to the:
- Kingdom Animalia (animals)
- Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
- Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
- Order Saurischia - lizard-hipped dinosaurs
- Suborder Theropoda - bipedal carnivores
- Neotheropoda ("Herrerasaurs") - primitive theropods with 4-fingered hands.
- Family Neoceratosauria - primitive, medium-sized predators; many had horns. Included: Ceratosaurus, Noasaurus, Carnotaurus, Indosuchus, Majungatholus, etc.
- Genus Ceratosaurus
- species nasicornis (the type species; Marsh, 1884)
- species dentisulcatus (?, 1995)
- species ingens (Janensch, 1920; this is a dubious species)
- species roechlingi (Janensch, 1925)
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