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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Cryptosaurus Facts

One of the interesting Cryptosaurus facts is that the Cryptosaurus was a small, herbivorous, Ankylosaurian dinosaur.

The Cryptosaurus is a dinosaur that belongs to the Ankylosauria suborder. The hidden right femur of this Ankylosaur dinosaur, which is also the holotype, was first uncovered by Lucas Ewbank in 1869. Lucas Ewbank was a geologist who donated the holotype to the Woodwardian museum in Cambridge. The partial fossil remains were found near the Ampthill Clay Formation in the brick pit of the Gransden in the strata of Oxford Clay in England. The Crypotsaurus eumerus species was named by a British paleontologist in 1869. 'Cryptosaurus' comes from the Greek word 'kryptos' meaning 'hidden' and 'eumerus' refers to 'a well-developed thigh'. The Cryptosaurus was alive during the Upper Oxfordian age of the Late Jurassic period or lower stages of the Middle and Upper Jurassic epoch. Since only a right femur has been discovered to date, the Cryptosaurus dinosaur is still considered a dubious species and genus. It became extinct close to 145-163 million years ago and is considered to be a smaller, herbivorous dinosaur.

For more relatable content, check out these Niobrarasaurus facts and these Liaoningosaurus facts for kids.

Cryptosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Cryptosaurus'?

The phonetic spelling and pronunciation of 'Cryptosaurus' are given as 'Krip-toe-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Cryptosaurus?

The Cryptosaurus is an Ankylosaurian dinosaur.

In which geological period did the Cryptosaurus roam the earth?

The Cryptosaurus (formerly Cryptodraco) roamed the earth during the Late Jurassic period.

More specifically, the Cryptosaurus was alive during the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic epoch. It is the earliest possible stage of the Late Jurassic or the lowest age of the Middle and Upper Jurassic. The Oxfordian stage is the middle one, as it follows the Callovian stage and precedes the Kimmeridgian stage. The holotype of this Ankylosaur dinosaur dates back to the upper Oxfordian age.

Some believe that the Cryptosaurus may have existed until the Sinemurian age from the Lower or Upper Jurassic series or epoch. The Sinemurian age lasted from 190.8-199.2 million years ago. The Sinemurian age comes after the Hettangian age and before the Pliensbachian age.

When did the Cryptosaurus become extinct?

The Cryptosaurus (formerly Cryptodraco) became extinct about 145-163 million years ago.

Where did the Cryptosaurus live?

A Cryptosaurus's partial femur was found in the Ampthill Clay Formation in England, so it can be assumed that the Cryptosaurus definitely lived there.

To be more specific, the holotype or partial fossil remains were actually discovered in the brick pit of Great Gransden in the Oxford Clay strata of the Ampthill Clay Formation.

What was the Cryptosaurus's habitat?

The Cryptosaurus, being herbivorous, lived in lush shrubland and grasslands with lakes and rivers. Some sources believe that this Ankylosaur dinosaur lived in desert environments as well.

Who did the Cryptosaurus live with?

These Cryptosaurus dinosaurs may have lived alone or in groups.

How long did the Cryptosaurus live?

Since it was a herbivorous dinosaur, the Cryptosaurus dinosaur probably lived for close to 70-80 years.

How did they reproduce?

Much like other dinosaurs, Cryptosaurus dinosaurs reproduced by mating and laying eggs.

Cryptosaurus Fun Facts

What did the Cryptosaurus look like?

The Cryptoasaurus is still considered a dubious dinosaur genus since it is known only from a partially recovered femur. The holotype, which has the designation CAMSM J.46882, was partial fossil remains in the form of a right femur that was about 13 in (33 cm) long. Also, the femur has a thick shaft which can be assumed to have belonged to a subadult individual or a full adult. This is evidence that the Cryptosaurus was a small dinosaur.

Only a singular right femur of the Cryptosaurus has been found to date.
*We've been unable to source an image of a Cryptosaurus and have used an image of an Ankylosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Cryptosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How many bones did a Cryptosaurus have?

The amount of bones a Cryptosaurus had is unclear.

How did they communicate?

It is entirely speculative the way Cryptosaurus dinosaurs communicated. Like other dinosaurs, they probably used vocal and visual cues. These may have included grunts, bellows, hoots, defensive postures, territorial aggression, and mating displays.

How big was the Cryptosaurus?

It is unclear exactly how big Cryptosaurus dinosaurs were, but they were from the Ankylosauria suborder and they were small.

How fast could a Cryptosaurus move?

Being herbivores, the Cryptosaurus probably ran at speeds close to 4.5 mph (7.2 kph).

How much did a Cryptosaurus weigh?

Due to insufficient evidence, the weight of the Cryptosaurus cannot be estimated.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the Cryptosaurus genus and species did not have any specific names. But it would not be wrong to use the saurus suffix for male dinosaurs and the saura suffix for female dinosaurs.

What would you call a baby Cryptosaurus?

A baby Cryptosaurus would be called a hatchling or a nestling.

What did they eat?

Being herbivores, Cryptosaurus dinosaurs probably ate things like plants, twigs, bark, and leaves.

How aggressive were they?

These herbivorous Cryptosaurus dinosaurs were probably not too aggressive.

Did you know...

The Triassic, Cretaceous, and Jurassic Periods of the world combined are termed the 'Mesozoic' era (252-66 mya or million years ago). Mesozoic translates to 'middle life' and this middle life was the age when dinosaurs ruled the world.

The Cryptosaurus was classified into the order Ornithischia. The Ornithischia order consists of known herbivorous dinosaurs that are extinct. Dinosaurs of this order are known to have a pelvic structure that is similar to birds. 'Ornithischia' translates to 'bird-hipped'.

The paleontologist initially thought that the Cryptosaurus was closely-related to the Iguanodon, the very first to be found at the Oxford Clay. It was Friedrich von Huene who classified the Cryptosaurus as one of the Camptosauridae in the year 1909. Finally, Peter Galton did work that showed that the Cryptosaurus was actually an Ankylosaurian dinosaur without any known affinities. As of today, the Cryptosaurus is commonly thought to be a dubious name because of the unavailability of fossil remains that can be studied.

Peter Galton was an American paleontologist who was born in England. Galton specialized in vertebrate paleontology. Subjects of his papers were Prosauropod and Ornithischian dinosaurs. Galton wrote close to 190 papers in scientific journals and textbooks.

The Oxford Clay formation is a rock formation in England. It is in the southeast part of England and is made up of Jurassic, sedimentary, and marine formation. It runs up to Yorkshire in the north and Dorset in the west. This formation can be dated back to the Jurassic and more specifically the Oxfordian and Callovian ages. It consists of two faces. The lower of the two main faces is made of Peterborough Member, an organic-rich and fossiliferous mudstone. Lower faces and their rocks are called the Lower Oxford Clay. Upper faces consist of the Stewartby Member in the middle and the Weymouth Member in the uppermost part. Upper faces are basically a loose assembly of mudstones that are calcareous. The Oxford Clay surfaces around Weymouth, Oxford, and Peterborough. In these areas, it gets exposed in many quarries. A lithological change is shown by the top part of the Lower Oxford Clay, where the fissile shale alters to gray mudstone. The Upper and Middle Oxford Clays are distinguishable by limestone in South Midlands that is argillaceous.

How did it get the name Cryptosaurus?

The name Cryptosaurus comes from the Greek word 'kryptos' which translates to 'hidden', which is an obvious reference to the rarity of Cryptosaurus fossil remains. The genus consists of just one known full species, the Cryptosaurus eumerus. The specific name 'eumerus' means 'a well-developed thigh', which is a reference to the right femur's stout and strong build.

It was first denoted in the Cambridge University catalog shelf as remains of a femur bone fossil from an Oxford Clay and Ampthill Clay formation dinosaur, the Cryptosuaurs eumerus.

For a long time, the Oxford Clay Cryptosaurus dinosaur was called Cryptodraco or Cryptodraco eumerus, which is now known to have been a replacement name that was not needed. Richard Lydekker renamed the genus as he thought the Cryptosaurus name was already used for another animal. This was erroneous since it was actually a mistaken spelling of the name Cystosaurus, so the name Cryptosaurus already had precedence.

How was the Cryptosaurus discovered?

The Cryptosaurus was first discovered by a geologist by the name of Lucas Ewbank. Lucas Ewbank found the right femur bone and donated it to the Woodwardian Museum in Cambridge in the year 1869. The Cryptosaurus was named Cryptosaurus eumerus and described in full by Harry Seeley, a British paleontologist, in the same year.

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 Palaeoscincus facts for kids and Mymoorapelta interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable volcano and dinosaurs coloring pages.

*We've been unable to source an image of a Cryptosaurus and have used an image of an Ankylosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Cryptosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

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