Final for #Ceratosaurus nasicornis. Initially uncovered by a farmer named Marshall Parker Felch less than 20 years after the end of the American Civil War (1883 into 1884) in the Garden Park fossil site just north of Cañon City, Colorado (part of the larger Morrison Formation). This initial specimen was described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1884 and named for it's distinctive nasal protrusion, Cerato being taking from the Greek keras/keratos meaning "horn" and sauros meaning "lizard." The initial skeleton was articulated by incomplete and the skull and spine had undergone significant distortion, as a result there was both delay and debate in the initial reconstructions, as the original specimen wasn't even mounted until around 1910. Though original mounting was ahead of its time, depicting the animal as a runner that didn't drag it's tale. This specimen has been freed from it's initial bas-relief mounting (partially mounted in a plaster in a side only view) and is currently scheduled for its new mounted display to debut sometime in 2019.
C. nasicornis lived in what would eventually become the American West during the Late Jurassic, about 153 to 148 million years ago. While the holotype discovered appears now to have been a younger specimen, only measuring around 17 to 18.7 feet in length, subsequent discoveries and studies have settled on an average estimated length of around 23 feet for an adult, with weight estimates being between just under 1000 to just over 2000 pounds.
It was less common than it's contemporary competition, Allosaurus, and appeared to be overall a more primitive animal by comparison, Allosaurus having numbers and a larger assortment of armaments with with to take down large prey, it's thought that Ceratosaurus may have specialized in prey that Allosaurs didn't go after, the evidence doesn't appear to be conclusive.
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