Fun Cristatusaurus Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Feb 20, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Sep 24, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Read these amazing Cristatusaurus facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

While movies like 'Jurassic Park' and 'Godzilla' have given us an idea of what dinosaurs are, there is so much more about their characteristics that we do not know. Dinosaurs occupied the world from the very beginning of the Mesozoic era to the Cretaceous era. There are more than 1000 species of non-avian dinosaurs that have been discovered so far. One among them is the Cristatausaurus which was found in 1973 by the French paleontologist Philippe Taquet at Gadoufaoua. The specimens were discovered in Gadoufaoua in Niger, Africa. It was recorded as a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur.

We have curated more facts about the Cristatusaurus that will surely blow your mind. Do not miss out on them and keep reading. Once you have completed this article do check out our other articles on Angaturama and Bobosaurus

Cristatusaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Cristatusaurus '?

The Cristatusaurus is pronounced as 'kris-ta-too-saw-rus'.

What type of dinosaur was a Cristatusaurus?

The Cristatusaurus was a theropod dinosaur and a baryonychine member of the Spinosaurid group which is one of the largest groups of bipedal carnivores.

In which geological period did the Cristatusaurus roam the earth?

The Cristatusaurus roamed the earth in the early Cretaceous period (Albian to Aptian Erlhaz Formation).

When did the Cristatusaurus become extinct?

These sharp claw dinosaurs first appeared on Earth 112 million years ago and went extinct after the Lower Cretaceous epoch. One theory for their extinction is that the planet gradually dried up, particularly some of the shallow aquatic basins inhabited by these dinosaurs. They were mostly dependent on fish. They started dying as they were unable to adjust to environmental changes.

Where did a Cristatusaurus live?

Cristatusaurus fossils were discovered by the French naturalist Philippe Taquet at Gadoufaoua which is a site inside the Elrhaz Formation in Niger, Africa. It is said this dinosaur lived here, mostly in the water sources.

What was a Cristatusaurus's habitat?

The fossils suggest that the Cristatusaurus must have lived in Niger's tropical environment. There were huge lakes and fast-flowing rivers in Early Cretaceous Niger (Africa). Their optimal habitat was the inland region, which had many freshwater floodplains and periodic dry seasons.

Who did a Cristatusaurus live with?

We don't know if the Cristataurus lived alone or in groups. The Baryonyx, a closely related species, is considered to be a lonely dinosaur. This species resided in isolated areas but may have hunted in groups and came together in the mating seasons. It co-existed with sauropods and iguanodontian dinosaurs, other theropods, and several other crocodylomorphs.

How long did a Cristatusaurus live?

The lifespan of the Cristatusaurus is estimated to be around 23-24 years. Though no matured specimens were excavated or studied, this estimation was based on the close relation with the Baryonyx.

How did they reproduce?

 The Cristatusaurus was oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs.

Cristatusaurus Fun Facts

What did a Cristatusaurus look like?

The Cristatusaurus is extremely similar to the Suchomimus and the Baryonyx. Many characteristics are shared between these species. Cristatusaurus neural spines were neither raised nor elongated like other dinosaurs in the Spinosauridae family. This was discovered based on the studies made on their vertebrae. Their claws are supposed to have been lengthy and curved on each of their hands. They had long narrow skulls which resembled crocodilians. The Cristatusaurus had tightly packed dental sockets and a narrow crest on top of the premaxillae which was similar to those seen in the Baryonyx. The teeth cron indicates that they might have had highly serrated teeth. One of the dorsal vertebrae was around 5.3 in (13.5 cm) in length which is equivalent to the biggest known Spinosaurid (Spinosaurus maroccanus) vertebrae.

The Cristatusaurus was excavated in 1973
We've been unable to source an image of Cristatusaurus and have used an image of Suchomimus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Cristatusaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did a Cristatusaurus have?

The holotype specimen of the genus Cristatusaurus comprises two broken frontmost snout bones known as premaxillae, a fragmentary right major upper jaw bone known as Maximilla, a few lower jawbones, a dentary fragment from the mandible, a claw, and four vertebrae. These were the excavated sections and the remainder was rebuilt. The precise number of bones has yet to be revealed.

How did they communicate?

Many of the body components from the fossils of this dinosaur from the genus Cristatusaurus imply that they were semi-aquatic and would have communicated by hissing, clapping jaws together, crushing mandibles on upper jaws, grinding scales together, using things available in their surrounding, or splashing in the water, similar to crocodiles. They might have communicated using visual representations as well.

How big was a Cristatusaurus?

Fossils of the Cristatusaurus, genus Cristatusaurus, were 33 ft (10 m) long and 8.2 ft (2.5 m) tall. They are four times the size of a Microvenator.

How fast could a Cristatusaurus move?

According to research, they had aquatic characteristics and generally resided in shallow waters. They possessed well-built extended legs that would have made them quick swimmers, but because of their hefty weight and large size, they would have been quite sluggish on land.

How much did a Cristatusaurus weigh?

These dinosaurs were well built and very heavy. They weighed close to 1-4 ton (1000-4000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs of this species did not have any sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby Cristatusaurus?

The baby Cristatusaurus didn't have a particular name either. They can be referred to as juveniles or hatchlings.

What did they eat?

The upper teeth, lower jawbones, and sharp claw would have likely been used for piercing and gripping prey like crocodiles. The main part of their diet was fish. They possibly fed on other small dinosaurs and juvenile pterosaurs. They were quite large and their only threat apart from environmental changes would have been the Allosaurus.

How aggressive were they?

They were aggressive predatory creatures. This dinosaur was a ferocious hunter with a huge curved claw and strong lower jawbones. Juvenile crocodiles were also among their prey. Crocodiles are considered to have thick skin and to be one of the most difficult creatures to capture. Hunting them down and tearing their skin would have required a lot of power and aggressiveness.

Did you know...

A diagram of the Cristatusaurus was made by combining several fossils of specimens to detect their exact size and skeletal reconstruction.

The curvature on their jaw, together with their teeth, would have served as a fish trap in the water.

Their noses were drawn back. This allowed them to immerse the nose even deeper in the water while still being able to breathe comfortably.

How strong were their teeth?

Cristatusaurus' teeth structure was developed, with densely packed tooth sockets. The bone at the apex of the upper jaw was spherical and large, as were the upper teeth developed along the jawline. Their teeth were sharply serrated, as seen by the tooth crown. This species, like Suchomimus, had seven-tooth sockets on each side along with serrations. This feature and structure indicate the teeth of the Cristatusaurus were extremely robust and durable.

Was the Cristatusaurus bipedal?

Yes, the Cristatusaurus like many other dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous period was bipedal, meaning it walked on two legs that moved forward and backward beneath its body. This was made simple for them by their extended rear limbs and small, well-built forelimbs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Cycnorhamphus facts or Limaysaurus fun facts for kids.

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

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

Fun Cristatusaurus Facts For Kids

How Much Did They Weigh?

1-4 ton (1000-4000 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

33 ft (10 m)

How Tall Were They?

8.2 ft (2.5 m)









Scientific Name

Cristatusaurus lapparenti

What Were Their Main Threats?

Allosaurus and habitat loss
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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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