Roar-some Facts About The Ceratonykus That Kids Will Love

Akinwalere Olaleye
Jan 13, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Jan 13, 2023
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
These facts about the Ceratonykus can help you learn a lot about small dinosaurs.
Age: 1-99
Read time: 2.9 Min

Ceratonykus is a genus comprising a single species of dinosaurs known as the Ceratonykus oculatus. The dinosaurs are called alvarezsaurids, classifying them as small dinosaurs with strong, long legs.

The dinosaur fossils were discovered in 2003 in the Khermiin Tsav locality in Mongolia. Vladimir Alifanov and Rinchen Barsbold coined the name in 2009. The dinosaur was identified by studying the skeleton fragments of a singular specimen, including its incomplete skull.

Ceratonykus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Ceratonykus'?

The pronunciation of Ceratonykus is 'Ce-rat-on-y-kus'.

What type of dinosaur was a Ceratonykus?

Ceratonykus, meaning 'horned claw', was a species of theropod dinosaur that belonged to the family Alvarezsauridae. They were small, non-avian dinosaurs. 

In which geological period did the Ceratonykus roam the Earth?

Ceratonykus roamed the Earth during the Late Cretaceous period, during the Campanian age.

When did Ceratonykus become extinct?

It's not known when exactly Ceratonykus became extinct. If the species did survive throughout the Campanian age, they became extinct during events that caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs and several other animal species on Earth roughly 66 million years ago.

Where did a Ceratonykus live?

Since the dinosaurs are considered insectivores, they possibly lived in forests and dryland, in habitats similar to that of anteaters, pangolins, or aardvarks. 

What was Ceratonykus' habitat?

These late Cretaceous period dinosaurs were terrestrial animals. 

Who did Ceratonykus live with?

It's not known whether Ceratonykus lived in groups or solitary lives.

How long did a Ceratonykus live?

The lifespan of Ceratonykus dinosaurs is not known.

How did they reproduce?

Ceratonykus were oviparous, giving birth to their young ones by laying eggs.

Ceratonykus Fun Facts

What did a Ceratonykus look like?

Ceratonykus (Ceratonykus oculatus) had long and strong hind legs that enabled them to run at high speeds. They had tiny, bird-like forelimbs that were probably reduced to one large claw. Fossils suggest that they had muscular arms for digging and tearing. The dinosaurs also had a tube-like snout.

The Ceratonykus fossils date back to the Late Cretaceous period.

How many bones did a Ceratonykus have?

Only one Ceratonykus specimen has been found to date. Several fragments of its skeleton and an incomplete skull fossil were found, including an incomplete lower jaw.

The post-cranial elements comprise a few cervical and caudal vertebrae, sternum, fragments of the right humerus, parts of the ilium, hind limbs, right and left coracoids, and distal elements of the forelimbs. The entire skeleton structure and bone count of the dinosaur remain unknown.

How did they communicate?

It's not known how Ceratonykus communicated.

How big was a Ceratonykus?

Ceratonykus was about 2.5 ft (75 cm) in length. There are no measures regarding the height of the dinosaurs. But, it is hypothesized that they were around six times smaller than the 40 ft (12 m) long Tyrannosaurus Rex.

How fast could a Ceratonykus move?

Ceratonykus had long hindlimbs, which helped them to sprint. The exact speed of the dinosaurs cannot be estimated based on existing data and evidence. 

How much did a Ceratonykus weigh?

Ceratonykus weighed approximately 1.68 lb (0.76 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females.

What would you call a baby Ceratonykus?

A baby Ceratonykus was called a juvenile.

What did they eat?

They had a tube-shaped snout, which suggests that they might have fed on insects, like termites.

How aggressive were they?

It's not known whether they were aggressive or not.

Did you know...

The study of Ceratonykus bones showed that these Alvarezsaurid dinosaurs differed from other Theropods based on features like having short femora and spikelike bones in their carpometacarpal and distinctive natural endocasts. Pleurocoels, or large openings on the sides of the vertebrae, is another theropod feature missing in Ceratonykus dinosaurs.

The study of the skull indicated that the dinosaur's eyes were close together and placed anterior to the brain. The skull examination led to the understanding that the eyes were the key sensory organ of the Ceratonykus.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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