Meaning: ‘Horned lizard’
Period: Late Jurassic (150 – 144 million years ago)
Group: Theropods (beast feet)
Size: It was 6m long and 4m tall. It weighed approximately 524kg.
Characteristics: The Ceratosaurus walked on two legs. Its skull was quite large in proportion to the rest of its body. It had large jaws and blade-like teeth. The front legs were powerful but very short. It also had horns – one on its nose and a smaller pair over the eyes. There has been a lot of debate over what the Ceratosaurus used its horns for. In 1884, Othniel C. Marsh believed they were powerful weapons. Nowadays, this is considered unlikely. In 1985, Norman argued the horns were not used for protection against predators, but for butting contests with its male counterparts to impress females. In 1990, Rowe and Gauthier suggested the horns were probably for display purposes only and consequently would have been brightly coloured and not used for protection, or combat at all.
Named by: Othniel Charles Marsh in 1884
Discovery: Many Fossils have been found in the Dry Mesa Quarry of Colorado in North America and in the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, central Utah also in North America.