Cetiosauriscus (Cetiosauriscus stewarti) was a long-necked dinosaur of the middle Jurassic period, that existed about 165 million years ago. The first fossil remains were found in Europe more than 100 years ago. The German paleontologist, Friedrich von Huene, in 1927, named this species of dinosaur, considering that they were similar to the Cetiosaurus. The name Cetiosauriscus refers to whale lizard-like, while the name Cetiosaurus means whale lizard. Later on, the partial postcranial skeleton of this species was excavated near Peterborough, a town in England. This new finding led to the argument that it was a new species of dinosaur and therefore, should be given a new genus name.
Much before the discovery of the holotype BMNH R.3078 in England, Friedrich von Huene, himself confirmed that the Cetiosauriscus type species had much longer vertebrae than the Cetiosaurus. The holotype BMNH R.3078 further confirmed the presence of a whiplash tail in this dinosaur species, just like that of a Supersaurus. These Sauropod dinosaur species had a herbivorous diet and were medium to large in size with about 7 t (6350.3 kg) of weight. Keep on reading to know more facts on this fascinating dinosaur.
Cetiosauriscus is pronounced as Set-e-os-sore-is-kuss.
The Cetiosauriscus dinosaurs belonged to the Sauropoda family. It is believed that this dinosaur is related to the Diplodocus of North America and Mamenchisaurus of Asia. Therefore, several name changes of this genus took place and different types of family or clade have been suggested to this dinosaur.
This species of dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the middle Jurassic period.
Cetiosauriscus became extinct more than 165 million years ago. Only a partial postcranial skeleton has been obtained, which is kept in the British Museum of Natural History, London.
The first fossil remains were found in Europe more than 100 years ago. Later in the year 1898, its postcranial skeleton partial remains were excavated from Peterborough, England by a group of clay workers. Sir Alfred Leeds handed over this dinosaur specimen to the British Museum of Natural History, London.
These dinosaurs of the Eusauropoda clade were herbivores and thus, they may have inhabited forests with dense vegetation and woodlands.
The Cetiosauriscus might have lived solitarily or in herds to defend themselves from ferocious predators. They probably also lived in pairs during their mating season.
We do not know the exact lifespan of these dinosaurs due to a lack of information. However, we do know that the average lifespan of a dinosaur was about 20-30 years.
Not much information is available on their reproductive behavior, owing to the partial skeleton remains retrieved. We do know that these whale lizard-like species of the Cetiosauriscus genus, reproduced by laying gigantic eggs. Just like other dinosaur-type species, for example, the Trinisaura and the Rebbachisaurus, the eggs of the Cetiosaurus, were amniotic, which provided all the essential nutrients to the developing embryo.
These dinosaurs were thought to be about 49.2 ft (15 m) in body length with 7 t (6350.3 kg) body weight. Their name means whale-like lizard, owing to the presence of a whip-lash tail. The partial skeleton consisting of postcranial remains, which are kept in the British Museum of Natural History, London, highlights the fact that these whale lizards had much longer vertebrae than the Cetiosaurus genus of the middle Jurassic period. No skull remains were found and therefore, not much data is available on their entire body shape. Several species are attributed to this genus and this dinosaur of the Jurassic period has undergone name changes several times. More information is needed in order to get a full picture of these creatures. We do know that its tail was moderately long with scales on the back. Their forelimbs were as long as their hindlimbs. This suggests that they were fast runners.
It's not known how many bones this dinosaur species had. The only partial skeleton obtained from England, which is kept in the British Museum of Natural History, London provides us information about the body length, weight, tail, and limb structure of these dinosaurs of the middle Jurassic period. However, we do know that the middle and posterior caudal region had 27 bones in this dinosaur.
Although not much data is available on their mode of communication, we do know that the Eusauropoda type species of the dinosaur used to communicate with their vocal and visual skills. They produced grunts and cracked calls.
These dinosaurs of the middle Jurassic period were medium to large in length and were about 49.2 ft (15 m). They were 16.4 ft (5 m) tall and were way bigger than the Hypsilophodon, which were only about 6 ft (182.9 cm) in length and about 2 ft (61 cm) tall.
The fossil of Cetiosauriscus stewarti kept in the British Museum of Natural History, London suggests that their forelimbs were as long as their hindlimbs. Further von Huene himself pointed out that they had long vertebrae. From these data, we can conclude that the whale lizard dinosaur was able to walk and run quite fast. However, more information is needed on their anatomy to assess the exact speed of these dinosaur species.
The fossil of the Cetiosauriscus kept in the British Museum of Natural History, London suggests that they weighed about 7 t (6350.3 kg).
No specific names are given to the male and female dinosaurs.
A baby Cetiosauriscus stewarti can be called a hatchling or a nestling as dinosaurs lay eggs.
They were herbivores and their diet included various types of plants and branches. They used to roam about in forests and woodlands with lush green vegetation.
Although not much data is available to assess their nature, it is safe to assume that they were not aggressive owing to the fact that their diet included plants exclusively. Further, the Cetiosauriscus period comprised several predators that imposed a massive threat to this species.
The taxonomy of Cetiosauriscus stewarti is of great significance due to its relationship with several dinosaur genera. In 1870, paleontologist Harry Govier Seeley named this species Ornithopsis hulkei and explained the relationship of Cetiosaurus taxonomy with them. The only difference between these two was the internal bone structure. Again in 1887, John Hulke named this species Ornithopsis leedsii based on the collection of pelvis, ribs, and vertebrae of the dinosaurs. This collection was brought about by an English farmer, Alfred Nicholson Leeds, who collected numerous fossil bones throughout his life from the Oxford clay. Later on, the famous English naturalist, Richard Lydekker, proved that the Ornithopsis and Cetiosaurus did not belong to the same taxon. Rather, the Ornithopsis included the Wealden fossils, whereas the Cetiosaurus included the Jurassic fossils.
The word Cetiosauriscus means 'whale lizard-like'.
The Cetiosauriscus fossil has confused the paleontologists, which led them to debate a lot regarding their family or clade. At first, it was thought that these species might have originated from the Cetiosaurus clade. But as pointed out by von Huene himself, the Cetiosauriscus stewarti fossil had longer vertebrae. Their whiplash tail and herbivorous diet make them Sauropod dinosaurs.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Coelurus facts, or Aublysodon fun facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dinosaur reading coloring pages.
Second image by Steveoc 86