Pine fossils, Museum National d' Histoire naturelle, Paris

  • Cristatusaurus lapparenti

Cristatusaurus is a genus of carnivorous dinosaur from the group Spinosauridae. So far, only the jaw bones and vertebrae are known from the Lower Cretaceous ( Aptian ) of the Niger originate. The only way is Cristatusaurus lapparenti. It is controversial whether Cristatusaurus is classified as a valid genus or as a noun dubium ( dubious name), or whether the fossils actually belong to the related Baryonyx.


The body length can be due to the very few known fossils is difficult to estimate - but Cristatusaurus could have had a length of about ten meters. The vertebrae are found at 13.5 centimeters in length about the same size as the largest known vortex of Spinosaurus maroccanus.

The teeth were conical, as with other Spinosauriden. Compared with related genera the teeth were slightly laterally flattened and slightly cut - in contrast to the related Irritator whose teeth were ungesägt. The Zwischenkieferbein was compared with that of the related Baryonyx short and viewed from the side in a hook shape.

Validity of the genus and systematics

The validity of this genus is disputed. Thus, the fossils can not be clearly distinguished from the related genus Baryonyx. Several researchers lead Cristatusaurus as a noun dubium ( dubious name). Other researchers write these fossils to Baryonyx (as Baryonyx sp. ), Which makes Christatusaurus to a younger synonym of Baryonyx. Thomas Holtz (2004), however, holds Cristatusaurus continue for a valid genus, and places them within the Baryonychinae, a subgroup of the Spinosauridae.

Research History and naming

Fossils date from the Gadoufaoua - locality of the Tegama lineup. The type material ( copy number MNHN GDF 366 ) consists of two premaxillary legs ( premaxilla ), and parts of the right upper and lower jaw. Further, the genus attributed finds include a fused paired Zwischenkieferbein and a vertebra with a. Cristatusaurus was named in 1998 with the kind Cristatusaurus lapparenti by Philippe Taquet and Dale Russell. The name Cristatusaurus means as much as " crested lizard " (Latin cristatus - "comb", gr sauros - "lizard "). The Artepitheth lapparenti honors the paleontologist Albert de Lapparent, which significantly contributed to the understanding of dinosaur finds from the Sahara and supported the excavations in 1966.