Meaning: ‘Single-crested lizard’ due to the large, hollow crest on its nose and forehead
Period: Mid Jurassic (180 – 159 million years ago)
Group: Theropods (beast feet)
Size: It was 5.7m long and 5m tall. It weighed around 475kg.
Characteristics: The Monolophosaurus walked on two legs and had a long bony crest on its narrow head. The top of the crest runs from the tip of its nose to the top of its head and was probably used for display and attracting females. Its jointed jaw was set with lots of pointed sharp teeth to rip open its prey. Its tail was kept straight by a series of tendons and carried off the ground.
Named by: Zhao Xijin and Philip John Currie in 1993
Discovery: Fossils have been discovered by a Canadian-Chinese expedition in 1981, in the Junggar Basin, north-west China. The nearly complete skeleton unearthed, included the skull, lower jaws, vertebral column and pelvis but the bottom of the tail, the shoulder girdle and the limbs were missing. It was restored with plaster and has been used as a travelling exhibit.