Fun Glacialisaurus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Glacialisaurus facts are interesting to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Glacialisaurus hammeri is a relatively new dinosaur to be discovered from the Hanson Formation of Antarctica. Its fossil evidence includes foot, ankle, and femur bones.

This dinosaur was a part of the clade Sauropodomorpha, which consisted of the sauropodomorph dinosaurs and the advanced true sauropods. Glacialisaurus is classified as a sauropodomorph, along with other sauropodomorph dinosaurs like Mussaurus and Massospondylus of Argentina and South Africa, respectively.

Glacialisaurus was a fascinating dinosaur of Antarctica, with a long neck and tail. In comparison to other sauropodomorph dinosaurs, Glacialisaurus was smaller in size and had a length between 20-25 ft (6-7.6 m).

Even during the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was the farthest point in the south, but it wasn't covered in ice.

Instead, there was sufficient vegetation and a habitable climate, which led to the advancement of these animals in the continent. The carnivorous Cryolophosaurus, which existed in Antarctica during the same time, is thought to be a predator of Glacialisaurus dinosaurs.

To learn more about Glacialisaurus, keep reading! You can also check out Bambiraptor and Barosaurus.

Glacialisaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Glacialisaurus'?

The name 'Glacialisaurus' is pronounced as 'Clay-she-al-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Glacialisaurus?

The primitive Glacialisaurus was a massospondylid belonging to the family Massospondylidae. The Glacialisaurus dinosaur has also been described as a sauropodomorph. The Sauropodomorpha clade consists of primitive sauropodomorphs and the more advanced true sauropods. Diplodocus and Apatosaurus are also members of this clade.

In which geological period did the Glacialisaurus roam the earth?

Studies based on the fossils of this primitive sauropodomorph led scientists to estimate that these dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the Early Jurassic period.

When did the Glacialisaurus extinct?

The Glacialisaurus fossils indicate that these dinosaurs became extinct 190 million years ago, during the Pliensbachian Age of the Early Jurassic.

Where did a Glacialisaurus live?

The discovery of Glacialisaurus remains from Antarctica has led scientists to believe that these primitive animals were endemic to this region. Their fossils have been collected from the Hanson Formation of Mount Kirkpatrick near the Beardmore Glacier of Antarctica.

Interestingly, during the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was connected to other countries like Australia, Africa, South America, Madagascar, India, and Arabia. Altogether, this continental land was known as Gondwana.

What was a Glacialisaurus' habitat?

During the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was covered with conifer forests along with various kinds of ferns, instead of the ice-filled regions that we see today.

This habitat is further supported by the fact that the Early Jurassic had a much drier and hotter climate and hence, even Antarctica had a temperate environment, which allowed various life forms to sustain themselves.

Who did a Glacialisaurus live with?

The social structure of Glacialisaurus is yet to be discovered. However, advanced sauropods displayed both solitary and herd behavior, depending on the species. Since aggregate fossils of the members of genus and species Glacialisaurus and hammeri, respectively, are yet to be discovered, there is no conclusion on whether these sauropodomorphs were social or not.

How long did a Glacialisaurus live?

True sauropods like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus had a lifespan of 70-80 years. Considering that the primitive sauropodomorph Glacialisaurus were considerably smaller in size, their longevity may have been shorter.

How did they reproduce?

 The Glacialisaurus dinosaur reproduced by laying eggs, like other dinosaurs. Another primitive sauropodomorph of the genus and species Mussaurus and patagonicus, respectively, whose fossils were found in Argentina, displayed colonial nesting behavior with multiple eggs in each nest.

Remains of the sauropodomorph Massospondylus from South Africa also bear proof of colonial nesting with each nest consisting of up to 34 eggs. So, Glacialisaurus may have displayed similar reproductive patterns.

Glacialisaurus Fun Facts

What did a Glacialisaurus look like?

Although the exact physical characteristics of this primitive sauropodomorph have not been fully established, due to the lack of a complete skeleton, the overall appearance of this dinosaur has been estimated.

Being a sauropodomorph, the Glacialisaurus had a long neck. Most artist renderings depict these dinosaurs as being quite muscular.

The discovered thigh bone of this dinosaur, which had a length of 2 ft (60 cm), has led researchers to believe that these dinosaurs were reasonably small in size. They also had a tail, like other sauropodomorphs, but the exact function of that tail is yet to be uncovered.

Apart from these features, scientists have also been able to point out some unique characteristics of the Glacialisaurus fossil.

Just like the basal members of Theropoda dinosaurs, a ridge runs to the joint protuberance in the lower femur (belonging to the thigh) of the Glacialisaurus. The upper edge of the second metatarsal bone (belonging to the foot) is slightly convex in appearance, while its lower end is twisted inward along its longitudinal axis.

This bone is also provided with an articular cusp on its inner and lower side, which is more developed than the outer cusp.

Glacialisaurus was named by Nathan Smith and Diego Pol.

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

How many bones did a Glacialisaurus have?

The incomplete remains of Glacialisaurus hammeri have led to a gap in the knowledge of the exact number of bones possessed by the Glacialisaurus dinosaurs. The holotype specimen, which has been tagged FMNH PR1823, consists of parts of the right foot and ankle of the hindlimb. Another specimen, tagged  FMNH PR1822, consists of fragments of the left femur.

How did they communicate?

The exact methods of communication used by the animals of the genus Glacialisaurus are yet to be confirmed by science. However, scientists have figured out that in the sauropodomorphs, the long tail could have been used to communicate.

For instance, the Diplodocus dinosaurs probably flicked the tip of their tails at supersonic speed to produce a cracking sound that traveled long distances. So, Glacialisaurus may have displayed similar behavior.

How big was a Glacialisaurus?

The Glacialisaurus dinosaur of the Early Jurassic was not very large in size and had a length of 20-25 ft (6-7.6 m), with a height of 5 ft (1.5 m). In comparison to Apatosaurus, another kind of sauropodomorph, which had an average length of 69-75 ft (21-22.8 m), Glacialisaurus hammeri was certainly much smaller.

How fast could a Glacialisaurus move?

The speed of the Glacialisaurus sauropodomorphs is yet to be discovered. A related species by the name of Brachiosaurus, belonging to the Sauropodomorpha clade and considered to be a part of the true sauropods group, had a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 kph), approximately.

How much did a Glacialisaurus weigh?

The estimated weight of this dinosaur species is between 4-6 ton (3628.7-5443 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names assigned to the male and female sauropodomorphs of this genus and species.

What would you call a baby Glacialisaurus?

A baby Glacialisaurus is known as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Like other sauropodomorph dinosaurs, the Glacialisaurus hammeri of the Early Jurassic period was a herbivore. Hence, it fed on the various kinds of plants that were found in its surroundings. Its long neck aided it in reaching the taller vegetation.

How aggressive were they?

Given the herbivorous nature of this primitive dinosaur, it is highly likely that they weren't very aggressive in nature.

Did you know...

According to Nathan Smith and Diego Pol, the discovery of Glacialisaurus hammeri remains from Antarctica is proof that primitive sauropodomorphs co-existed with the advanced sauropods for some time. This is because the rock formation from where the Glacialisaurus remains were discovered was also the site of the discovery of an early sauropod dinosaur.

What does Glacialisaurus mean?

The name, 'Glacialisaurus' was given by Diego Pol and Nathan Smith in 2007. This name has been sourced from the Latin word, 'glacialis'.

The word translates to 'frozen' or 'icy' in English. The nomenclature behind this new dinosaur was due to its discovery from the frozen regions of Antarctica. Additionally, the specific name 'hammeri' was given in honor of Dr. William R. Hammer, a professor of the Augustana College, due to his contribution to Antarctic and paleontological research.

When was the Glacialisaurus found in Antarctica?

The discovery of Glacialisaurus hammeri of the Early Jurassic took place in the year 1990-1991, during the summer season of the southern hemisphere.

While the holotype, consisting of parts of the right foot and ankle were discovered on the slope of Mount Kirkpatrick, near the Beardmore Glacier of Antarctica, the other specimen which had the fragments of left femur were found a bit lower on the same slope.

Nathan Smith, who eventually formally named and described this dinosaur along with Diego Pol in 2007, said that the removal of the fossil remains from the ice and rock of Antarctica took considerable effort and a lot of equipment.

The entire process took two field seasons to be completed.

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 Agujaceratops facts and Sinocalliopteryx fun facts pages

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

Glacialisaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?


what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Relatively small in size with a long neck and tail

How Much Did They Weigh?

4-6 ton (3628.7-5443 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

20-25 ft (6-7.6 m)

How Tall Were They?

5 ft (1.5 m)









Scientific Name

Glacialisaurus hammeri

What Were Their Main Threats?

Predators like Cryolophosaurus, natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?


Where Did They Live?

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Written by Moumita Dutta

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

Moumita Dutta picture

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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