ScottHartman's avatar

Ceratosaurus growth series

293 103 29K (4 Today)
By ScottHartman   |   
Published:
© 2010 - 2020 ScottHartman
I don't normally use photograph composites here, but I don't have time to illustrate the (more) juvenile specimen right now and when scaled it shows a very nice growth series. Also, note that the adult is NOT a new specimen...it was described 10 years ago and discovered in the 1970's.

This shows the importance of doing reconstructions of every specimen I'd have to say. Anyways, the take-home message here is that the middle specimen is the USNM type (Smithsonian) and is what everyone thinks of when they think of Ceratosaurus. But 20-footers like that grow up to be something different and a bit more beastly.

Edit: Updated the pose and the silhouettes, and the comparison now includes a skeletal reconstruction of the juvenile rather than a photograph. I personally suspect that these are growth series of a single species, but currently there are several species names floating around in the literature and there is enough weirdness with Morrison stratigraphy that I wouldn't bet money on it. Even at worst we would probably be looking at close relatives, possibly even one species that evolved from an earlier one, so the growth series will probably hold up either way.
Image size
6569x5460px 5.13 MB
Comments103
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
NightmarishWarlord's avatar
which of the 2 is the juvenile a species of
Megasupream's avatar
MegasupreamHobbyist General Artist
It's an unknown species. That's why it says "sp."
NightmarishWarlord's avatar
alright , but i was looking for a answer from the artist
Megasupream's avatar
MegasupreamHobbyist General Artist
The artist himself put "sp." in the image. It is unneeded to ask him for an answer he's already given.
NightmarishWarlord's avatar
i just wanna hear it from him
AcrocanthosaurusA's avatar
Just a question,do you think the 8.8 meter ceratosaurus is true?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
It doesn't sound impossible, but no published specimen is that large.
grisador's avatar
The dinosaurs grew up really fast weren't they ? :o
saranin2002's avatar
saranin2002Hobbyist Writer
Ceratosaurus is my personal favorite theropod. Nice comparison. BTW I tend to agree that we're too quick to slap a new name on a find.

I tend to agree that the horns served as a form of armor for hunting or combat.
Blade-of-the-Moon's avatar
Blade-of-the-MoonProfessional Traditional Artist
Hey Scott,  on the C. Nasicornis, is the tooth length shown as they would appear in the fossil skull ( slid out from mineralization) or are they a living specimen length ? Trying to figure out what length of teeth to give my 1:1 Cerato.
Astrosaurus-Art's avatar
Astrosaurus-ArtStudent General Artist
nasicornis: (to allosaurus) YOU FOOL! THIS ISN'T EVEN MY FINAL FORM! WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE MY TRUE POWER! *grows up into dentisulcatus* HYAAAAAHHHHHH!

sorry for the meme
Daltharion's avatar
Right on! XD
StanleyRabbid's avatar
StanleyRabbidHobbyist Traditional Artist
So the Ceratosauruses over in the Museum of Ancient Life were juveniles- that would make sense.
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
Dontknowwhattodraw94Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do we know the age of those specimens? It would be really interesting to see how fast they could grow to their fully grown size.
saranin2002's avatar
saranin2002Hobbyist Writer
Find of many theropods like Allosaurus, indicate they lived a standard of 5 years growing slowly from the size of a chicken (or smaller), then hit a growth spurt reaching sexual maturity sometime in their mid to late teens. Their growth plateaued around 20 years or so and most died within 6 years (the oldest theropod was the famous T-rex Sue at 28).

Now that being said, the theropods discovered tended to be in their adult years so theoretically they could have lived into their 40s or 50s, but died as the injures and strains of their violent lifestyles added up.
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
As far as I know there aren't any histological age-determination studies done on any specimen of Ceratosaurus, although I share your desire to see it get done.
Dontknowwhattodraw94's avatar
Dontknowwhattodraw94Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, too bad then.
Anyway, thanks for the help :)
TeddyBlackBear2040's avatar
TeddyBlackBear2040Student Digital Artist
very good analysis.
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Probably fairly narrow across the chest I'm afraid, so they would probably look more imposing from the side than the front.
PeteriDish's avatar
PeteriDishHobbyist General Artist
one of my all time favourite theropods, along with Carnotaurus! =)
Patrikia-Bear's avatar
Patrikia-BearHobbyist General Artist
AWESOME. :D
Desmodeus's avatar
DesmodeusHobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't suppose the frequency of the scutes would lend credence to the separate species idea?
Or is this the type of thing that could vary a lot between individuals?
ScottHartman's avatar
ScottHartmanProfessional Digital Artist
Honestly, the type specimen is the only one for which we are fairly certain about the placement of the scutes, and even they feel more irregular than some would expect. The big scutes on the large specimen are real, but exactly how they were arranged is not certain. What we'd need are more articulated specimens to be found with the scutes in situ - preferably of different sizes.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I don't know, and I doubt anyone else does either :(
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In