Crichton the Guanlong

Meet Crichton, one of 8 members of our Tyrannosaurs exhibition family.

Crichton the Guanlong

 © Australian Museum

Crichton the Guanlong (pronounced GWON-long) is not your typical tyrannosaur. Known as the ‘crown dragon’ of the tyrannosaurs, Crichton can be easily spotted when walking through the kingdom thanks to his elaborate headwear and impressive feathered coat.

Originally from Xinjiang China, Crichton is the crown prince of the tyrannosaurs and the next in line to the throne. While his relative Scotty the Tyrannosaurus rex likes to call himself the ‘king of the dinosaurs’, Crichton likes to remind him that it was his kingdom long before the T. rex came to town. At approximately 160 million years old, Crichton was using his unusually long arms and 3-fingered hands to hunt smaller dinosaurs and mammals a whole 95 million years before Scotty even joined the family.

When it comes to size, Crichton is all too aware that at only 1.1 metres in height and 4 metres in length, he is quite disadvantaged compared to Scotty. For this reason, he relies on his spectacular head crest to set him apart from the crowd. While quite delicate and too flimsy to use as a weapon, its bright colours are great at attracting the ladies.

See Crichton at the exhibition

Fast facts about Crichton

  • Spectacular head crest
  • Almost certainly had feathers (but not for flying)
  • Was alive 95 million years before the T. rex
  • Had long arms for a tyrannosaur and 3-fingered hands
  • From Central Asia (Xinjiang, China)
  • Head crest was delicate and too flimsy to be used as a weapon – probably brightly coloured and most likely used to attract a mate
  • Height – 1.1 metres
  • Length – up to 4 metres (very small compared to T. rex)

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Michael Hugill , Online Producer
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