Proceratosaurus bradleyi Click to enlarge image
Holotype of Proceratosaurus bradleyi, taken at "TheMunichShow" Image: Derdadort
© CC BY SA

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bradleyi
    Genus
    Proceratosaurus
    Family
    Proceratosauridae
    Super Family
    Tyrannosauroidea
    Suborder
    Theropoda
    Order
    Saurischia
    Superorder
    Dinosauria
    Class
    Reptilia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    2 to 3 metres long
  • Life history mode
    terrestrial
  • Feeding Habits
    carnivorous
  • View Fossil Record
    Fossil Record
    Jurassic Period
    (205 million years ago - 141 million years ago)

Introduction

Pronounced pro-seh-RAT-oh-SORE-us brad-lee-eye

Proceratosaurus means ‘lizard before Ceratosaurus' in Greek, and bradleyi refers to Mr F Lewis Bradley, who discovered the first specimen in the early 1900s.

This small early tyrannosaur had unusually enlarged nostrils and a head crest.

Identification

The small Proceratosaurus is known from a single partial skull of a subadult individual. It had unusally enlarged nostrils and a head crest - features typical of others in its family Proceratosauridae - and marked size differences between the teeth at the front of the mouth and those at the sides.

This species had a skull with internal air spaces, as with other tyrannosaurs such as T. rex, and also the D-shaped front teeth typical of all tyrannosaurs.

Distribution

Proceratosaurus lived in what is now England, Europe, about 168-166 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic.

Feeding and diet

As with most other theropods, Proceratosaurus was a predator and had serrated sharp teeth. Although it is only known from a single skull, it can be assumed the animal was two-legged with a long tail, as with other theropods.

Fossils description

The only known fossil - a 30cm-long skull - was found in Gloucestershire, England, in the early 1900s and originally called Megalosaurus in 1910, but reclassified as a tyrannosaur in 2009.

Evolutionary relationships

The skull was originally described in 1910 as a new theropod species Megalosaurus and also considered an ancestor of Ceratosaurus because of the similar crest on its snout. It wasn't until the skull was rexamined using CT scans in 2010, that its tyrannosaur features were revealed. Among other tyrannosaurs, Proceratosaurus is most closely related to Guanlong and Kileskus. Its discovery leads scientists to believe early tyrannosaurs were widespread across the Northern Hemisphere.

References

Rauhut, O.W.M., Milner, A.C. and Moore-Fay, S. (2010). "Cranial osteology and phylogenetic position of the theropod dinosaur Proceratosaurus bradleyi (Woodward, 1910) from the Middle Jurassic of England". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society