STL Science Center

STL Science Center

28 January 2011

Happy Friday Ceratosaurus!

This week we will be working with Ceratosaurus. Jaime Chirinos, who painted the picture above (with minor adjustments by Jenn for fun!) is updating the painting and keeping me informed, so I'm going to post the edits as I receive them in this blog, the first of which is below. It has a very dusky tone that, for the moment almost makes the Ceratosaurus a shadowy figure. This should be an awesome week with a nimble and somewhat smaller predator than the apex predators we've seen in the recent past.

 Ceratosaurus was a much smaller animal than its contemporary predatory amigos. Allosaurus was about twice to almost three times their size, making a confrontation between the two very dangerous for Ceratosaurus. Translating this into predation tactics it's fair to say Ceratosaurs were probably not taking on dangerous animals of size (Camarasaurus or Brachiosaurs as examples) or weaponry (think Stegosaurus here) without the help of another one or more animals. More than likely Ceratosaurs found their niche preying on other small nimble animals of their day such as the occasional mammal and Dryosaurus sized dinosaurs. 

Ceratosaurus was named for the small horn on its nose which, for all intents and purposes is more likely than not, a hood ornament to show how awesome a Ceratosaur was. I can think of some better hood ornaments on predators (Carnotaurus anyone?) but Ceratosaurus looks like he'll shape up to be an awesome subject to study this week.

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