Fun Cetiosaurus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Cetiosaurus facts are great for kids.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

Are you interested to know more about dinosaurs? If so, then you would definitely like to read about the genus called Cetiosaurus.

The name of this genus stands for whale lizard, but it can also mean the sea monster lizard. Originally, it was described as an extremely large crocodile, but later it was discovered to be a herbivorous dinosaur.

This genus contains the type species of Cetiosaurus oxoniensis, and it's said to have existed during the Middle Jurassic or Late Jurassic period. The Cetiosaurus is the first sauropod to get a description based on its bones.

Even though the most important remains come from England, the bones have also been found in France, Morocco, and Switzerland. The most unique feature of this sauropod dinosaur Cetiosaurus was its long neck, and you can see the recreation of the dinosaur in a museum in Leicester.

It's really fascinating to study the Cetiosaurus evolution to learn about how the latter sauropods may have come into being. So, keep on reading to know more interesting sauropod dinosaur Cetiosaurus facts.

Also, check out our articles on Ichthyovenator and Sauropelta facts.

Cetiosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Cetiosaurus'?

The pronunciation for the name of this Cetiosaurus dinosaur is 'see-tee-oh-sore-us'. The meaning of this name is whale lizard.

Having said that, even though this was a big species, it wasn't the biggest that you could have seen. Moreover, the Cetiosaurus oxoniensis is regarded as a type species for the genus Cetiosaurus that may have existed during the Middle Jurassic period.

What type of dinosaur was a Cetiosaurus?

The Cetiosaurus genus is said to contain dinosaurs that are herbivorous sauropods. It is said to be the first sauropod species from which paleontologists have described the sauropod clade.

The genus is also regarded as the most complete sauropod dinosaur from England, whose name means whale lizards.

Cetiosaurus oxoniensis (Phillips, 1871) is the first and only type species of this genus, and scientists have thought to only fit the description and taxonomical breakdowns in the Dinosauria kingdom. These dinosaurs were quadrupedal in nature, whose main form of locomotion was by walking on four limbs.

In which geological period did the Cetiosaurus roam the earth?

Well, the Cetiosaurus existed on this earth roughly 168 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic period. Some also place the sauropod dinosaur in the Late Jurassic period and place it during the Mesozoic age.

When did the Cetiosaurus become extinct?

We don't know when this Dinosauria type would have gone extinct. But, the average guess is roughly 168 million years ago at the end of the Middle Jurassic period. Hence, it is thought to be one of the primitive sauropod dinosaur types compared to others found later.

Where did a Cetiosaurus live?

The bones of these sauropods were discovered mainly in England. However, it is thought that the dinosaur was spread over a wider area which might have meant that it roamed all over Europe. Other than England, the fossils of this genus are said to have been found in France, Switzerland as well as in Morocco.

What was a Cetiosaurus' habitat?

As this dinosaur lived roughly 168 million years ago in the past, it would be very hard to trace its habitat range. However, it was, in fact, a terrestrial dinosaur group that depended on the natural flora present in Europe at that age.

Some scientists do believe that these sauropods would have inhabited floodplains and open woodlands. Moreover, this animal had a pretty long neck that allowed it to reach tall and mid-level vegetation compared to other dinosaurs that were herbivores.

Who did a Cetiosaurus live with?

We have little to no data related to the lifestyle or living habits of dinosaurs. And, we don't know if it lived in groups or preferred a solitary life.

However, one of the things that we know about species C. oxoniensis (Phillips, 1871) is that it was commonly predated on by bigger dinosaurs like the Megalosaurus, Streptospondylus, and even the Cruxicheiros.

How long did a Cetiosaurus live?

We don't have any data related to the lifespan of this Dinosauria from the Middle Jurassic period. However, the sauropod group is said to have had one of the longest lifespans among all other dinosaurs. The average life expectancy is said to have been within 70-80 years.

How did they reproduce?

Like other dinosaurs, the species from this genus would have also reproduced with that of eggs. However, we don't have any information related to the mating habits practiced in this group.

Cetiosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Cetiosaurus look like?

When it comes to the appearance of this type species, the Cetiosaurus oxoniensis has mainly been redesigned by piecing together the several fossils, and material remains of the skeleton that was found. This dinosaur is said to have had a fairly large body with a long neck, along with an even longer tail.

All four of its limbs would have been quite strong to support the bodyweight of this Cetiosauridae. The Cetiosaurus skull is thought to have been smaller than its body owing to a smaller head.

Cetiosaurus facts help to learn about a new dinosaur group.

How many bones did a Cetiosaurus have?

We have come to the most interesting part of the dinosaur. Even though the Cetiosaurus oxoniensis (Phillips, 1871) is considered to be the most complete sauropod discovered in England, we are yet to know about the exact number of bones present in its body.

However, the Cetiosaurus skeletal remains do give us a hint of how this dinosaur might have looked while alive.

Even though the fossils have included vertebrae and other bones, the skull of this sauropod still remains a mystery, and in most cases, it has been reimagined. Unlike other sauropods, these reptiles are said to have had limited air chambers inside their bones.

How did they communicate?

Like other dinosaurs, these reptiles must have also communicated vocally and physically. However, we are yet to have any conclusive data regarding the communication patterns of Dinosauria.

How big was a Cetiosaurus?

One of the things to know about the Cetiosaurus is that it had a huge size, especially owning to the length of its neck. The Cetiosaurus size is said to have been near around 52 ft (15.8 m).

We aren't that sure about the Cetiosaurus height. Compared to it another sauropod, the Alamosaurus had an average body length near 98 ft (29.8 m). Hence, even though the Cetiosaurus dinosaur is thought to be quite big, it isn't the largest that existed in the Jurassic kingdom.

How fast could a Cetiosaurus move?

We don't really know what would have been the speed of this Cetiosaurus. However, as it weighed a lot, we can assume the dinosaur had a slow gait. Usually, sauropods have been described to walk at a pace of around 4.4 mph (7 kph).

How much did a Cetiosaurus weigh?

The Cetiosaurus is said to have weighed around 22,000 lb (9979 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no separate names for the male and female of these sauropods.

What would you call a baby Cetiosaurus?

Like the babies of most other reptiles, the Cetiosaurus baby would have been called a hatchling.

What did they eat?

The Cetiosaurus diet consisted of plants that were found during the era when it existed. Moreover, the long neck of these reptiles allowed it to get to those trees that were out of reach for other plant-eating animals present in their vicinity.

Having said that, we are yet to know about the plants that may have been present in the Cetiosaurus environment.

How aggressive were they?

Well, as animals that were herbivores, we wouldn't say this sauropod dinosaur would have been too aggressive. Moreover, studies show that the animal was commonly predated on by other larger carnivorous dinosaurs.

But, as the species C. oxoniensis did have a large-sized body, it can be surely recognized as an animal that had the capability to topple other smaller dinosaurs.

Did you know...

The Cetiosaurus skeleton is currently on display in the Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.

The Rutland specimen of the species C. oxoniensis is said to be around 40% complete. A driver of an excavation vehicle discovered the Rutland specimen in 1968.

Some misassigned species of this genus include the Cetiosaurus mogrebiensis, Cetiosaurus leedsi, and Cetiosaurus glymptonensis, among others.

What does Cetiosaurus mean?

The Cetiosaurus name means whale lizard, coming from the word cetio that originally means sea monster, and saurus that stands for lizard. Interestingly, when Sir Richard Owen took to studying the bones of this dinosaur, he originally thought it to be a very large crocodile rather than a primitive sauropod.

Why did the Cetiosaurus have such a long neck?

The Cetiosaurus sauropod probably had the long neck to feed on leaves from trees present at a high and medium range. It also helped the dinosaurs to reach places that were out of bounds for other herbivores or dinosaurs present around.

Moreover, even though the skeleton of this dinosaur does show a pretty lengthy neck, it was proportionate to its body and was no longer than the size of its mid-body.

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 Xenotarsosaurus facts, or Metriorhynchus facts for kids.

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

Second image by Nobu Tamura (

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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