Chasmosaurus is a horned dinosaur which is a genus of the ceratopsid dinosaur. It belonged to the phylum Chordata, clade Dinosauria, order Ornithischia, suborder Ceratopsia, and subfamily Chasmosaurin. It originated from the late Cretaceous period in North America. The first fossil was found in the Isla Pena and later was excavated in the Dinosaur Park Formation, Horseshoe Canyon Formation, and the Scollard Formation. The classification of these horned dinosaurs belongs to the two prime groups, which were the Centrosaurus and the Chasmosaurus. The Chasmosaurus used to live in the time when the Great Plains of western North America were covered by the sea that turned that into a long landmass called Laramidia. The Chasmosaurus limited range can in the Late Cretaceous period be explained by the change in sea level during the Cretaceous period. The brow horns, weight, body, teeth, and feet of males were comparatively larger. The Chasmosaurus got its name from the long-frilled ceratopsians. The frill which this dinosaur had used to make it look even larger than it actually used to be, and the Chasmosaurus skull had three horns. The first specimen was collected by Lawrence Lambe in the year 1897. Read on for more facts about the Chasmosaurus.
The pronunciation of this frilled dinosaur is 'kaz-mo-sore-us.' The name of this dinosaur means an 'opening lizard' which refers to the large openings it has in its frill.
The Chasmosaurus was a horned dinosaur that had various horns around its face area. It had two horns on its face and one wide short horn on its snout (parrot-like beak).
The Chasmosaurus used to live in the Cretaceous Period, which was about 76 to 80 million years ago. Most of the ceratopsian dinosaurs lived during this time only.
This three-horned dinosaur became extinct with many of its similar species of ceratopsians around 65 million years ago.
Chasmosaurus used to live in plain lands and shared its territories with the other Centrosaurus on the east coast of Laramidia and Alberta (Canada).
This dinosaur was a terrestrial animal living in Alberta (Canada), and hence used to live in grasslands, marshlands, semi-arid regions of ample water, and lots of green plants, fruits, and grasses to eat.
This dinosaur was social and they lived in small groups of a maximum of five dinosaurs and a minimum of three dinosaurs. Sometimes they used to form big groups to roam around or switching the location to an abundant food place in groups of 10-11 dinosaurs. They were herding animals and that has been proved by the discovery of many bone beds in the same area.
They lived from the Campanian Age to 70.6 million years ago. They lived along with carnivore dinosaurs like the Proceratosaurus and the Velociraptor, with whom they used to get into fights for territory.
These ceratopsian dinosaurs used to lay eggs and gave parental care also to the kids. This herbivore dinosaur was 14.1 ft (4.3 m) long and had hard skin on the neck and body with a frill.
Chasmosaurus was a reddish-brown dinosaur with blue and red streaks on its frill and a pale creamy underbelly. The size of this dinosaur was very much similar among other relative ceratopsians like Triceratops and Sinoceratops. The body type was rather condensed with three enormous horns, one on its snout by a parrot-shaped beak and the other two on just above the eyes on the skull. The survival needs of this dinosaur were easy to maintain, and they first got unlocked on Isla Pena. Some other members of this genus are C. belli, C. canadensis, C. mariscalensis, and C. russelli. Most of them have been discovered by Lawrence Lambe in the North America and Alberta (Canada) region.
The number of bones that a Chasmosaurus skeleton had is still unknown, but they possessed three horns.
There is not much information available on the communication methods of this dinosaur. But dinosaurs used to communicate verbally by producing loud sounds. They used to rub their scales together to interact, clap jaws, grind their mandibles against their upper jaws to show authority and dominance.
The length of this three-horned species was about 169-188.97 in (4.3-4.8 m) like most members of this lizard-looking family Ceratopsidae.
The exact speed of the Chasmosaurus is not known yet but the close species of Centrosaurus who used to have a speed of 20 mph (32.18 kph), Chasmosaurus also might be good runners and fast movers.
The weight of this huge ceratopsian lizard with a parrot beak used to be around 1.5 tons (1,360.78 kg ). Chasmosaurus size, its skull, legs, and frill is almost similar to other different members of its herds.
There are no specific names for the male and the female of this dinosaur species of North America Chasmosaurus (Chasmosaurine ceratopsid). There used to be very minimal differences between the male and females of this species. The sexual dimorphism of Chasmosuarus is almost impossible to explain for these dinosaurs. The brow horns which have males have been comparatively larger than females.
The baby of this herbivore dinosaur species does not have any particular name to get called by. They were called baby Chasmosaurus. The baby, after attaining the age of three years, used to become at least 5 ft (1.5 m) long and develop similar limb proportions as that of the adult Chasmosaurus.
This animal was a plant-eater dinosaur and ate a diet of low-laying plants only. It ate palms, cycads, grasses, and plants having tough beaks as its diet. Just like other Ceratopsians, Chasmosaurus could also chew efficiently with the cheek teeth, which is unlikely of most dinosaurs.
Just like other ceratopsians, it was moderately aggressive and moreover was a social animal that needed two to three dinosaurs for a good comfort zone. Chasmosaurus used to charge into the enemy like Tyrannosaurus and Ceratosaurus whenever it got provoked by them just like a rhinoceros and that was how it used to defend itself.
Chasmosaurus had a successive species called Centrosaurus which was eaten by the carnivore dinosaurs like Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus. The difference of horns between a Centrosaurus and the Chasmosaurus can be clearly seen as the former had only two hornlets which were comparatively bigger than that of the Chasmosaurus and also the frills were longer with small hornlets on the outer edges.
The paleontologist Lawrence Lamb who discovered many ceratopsians like Pentaceratops and others discovered this three-horned dinosaur as well in the year 1898. It was much before the discovery of the relative species of the Pentaceratops. Lawrence Lamb was a member of the Geological Survey of Canada at Berry Creek. He discovered the holotype NMC 491, which was a parietal bone of the neck frill.
Chasmosaurus used to live in plains and grasslands in the late Cretaceous period and was discovered by Lawrence Lambe. Present-day North America was the continent where most of the fossils of the frill of this dinosaur were found. And apart from that, other places like Saskatchewan (Canada) and Alberta (Canada) had Chasmosaurus fossils. Some other members of this genus are C. belli and C. russelli.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Bravoceratops facts pages and Zuniceratops facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Chasmosaurus coloring pages.
Main image by Nobu Tamura.