Genus: Ceratosaurus (“Horned Lizard”)
Species: C. nasicornis
Ceratosaurus lived alongside other meat-eating dinosaurs, but may have preferred different prey items to avoid direct competition with larger predatory species. It may have eaten other dinosaurs and animals, and some studies show it may have been adapted to eat aquatic animals such as fish, crocodiles or turtles. It may also have scavenged the already dead remains of other, larger dinosaurs.
Ceratosaurus was a theropod dinosaur, a two-legged meat-eater with a long tail, strong rear legs, and small arms. Its most distinctive feature was a proportionately large head with a prominent bony horn protruding from its nose, as well as a short crest above each eye.
Another feature that made Ceratosaurus stand out from its theropod relatives was the presence of osteoderms, small armor-like bone pieces that ran along the length of the dinosaur’s body.
SIZE: 23 feet (7 meters)
WEIGHT: 2160 pounds (980 kilograms)
Ceratosaurus lived in the Jurassic Period, roughly 150 million years ago. Large predatory dinosaurs like Allosaurus and Torvosaurus lived in the same time and location as Ceratosaurus. The area was also home to large long-necked sauropods including Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. The armored Stegosaurus was present in this area as well.
The environment at the time may have consisted of distinctive wet and dry seasons, with floodplains and swampy areas as well as rivers, streams and lakes.