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Cryolophosaurus ellioti



Cryolophosaurus ellioti - the first non-avian theropod discovered in Antarctica

Temporal range: Early Jurassic, Plienbachian, around ~190 Ma

Length: 6.5+ metres
Mass: 500+ kilograms

Etymology: Elliot's frozen-crested reptile

Cryolophosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur, with a crest on its head which is reminiscent of a Spanish comb. It is the first large carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered in Antarctica and the first Mesozoic dinosaur from the continent to be officially named.

It was originally described as a basal tetanuran, though subsequent studies have found that it is likely a dilophosaurid. The holotype, FMNH PR1821, is the only known specimen of Cryolophosaurus, and is likely a subadult. It's skull was estimated to be ~65 centimetres long.

In the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was closer to the equator and the planet's climate was warmer than today, but the climate was still cool temperate. The coastal areas probably never dropped much below freezing, although more extreme conditions existed inland.

Cryolophosaurus was found about ~650 kilometres from the South Pole, but at the time it lived, this was about ~1650 kilometres or so from the Pole. It coexisted with the basal sauropodomorph Glacialisaurus, a crow-sized pterosaur, a tritylodont(a type of synapsid about the size of a rat), some herbivorous synapsids, and an unknown theropod. Fossilized trees were recovered only two metres away from Cryolophosaurus, indicating that forests had once grown on Antarctica's lands before it drifted southward.

Based on :iconscotthartman: 's Cryolophosaurus


UPDATE(11/13/2015): Redrew the face. Previous version for comparison here.
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TriceratopsHorridus's avatar

That's an amazing shade of blue on it!