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PROCERATOSAURUS

a meat-eating proceratosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England.
Pronunciation: pro-se-RAT-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Before Ceratosaurus
Author/s: von Huene (1910)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Minchinhampton, England
Chart Position: 116

Proceratosaurus bradleyi

Discovered whilst digging a reservoir at Minchinhampton near Stroud in 1900, Proceratosaurus was originally named Megalosaurus Bradleyi by Arthur Smith Woodward in 1910. It received its current name in 1926 courtesy of Von Huene who assumed that, because of a horn attached to the snout of its lightly built skull, it was a primitive and lightweight ancestor of Ceratosaurus, so he simply pre-fixed the latter name with the Greek "pro" meaning "before".

Apart from being wheeled out in 1988 by Greg Paul and compared to Ornitholestes whose similar "horn" was later identified as a stray bone from its terribly mangled snout, Proceratosaurus languished in the dungeons of London's Natural History Museum until 2009. Then Rauhut, Milner and Moore-Fay, armed with new-fangled scanning technology, examined it up close and made a startling breakthrough.

Turns out, Proceratosaurus is a primitive tyrannosauroid and the earliest known ancestor of T.rex, so it deserved its own raised-for-the-occasion family called Proceratosauridae, which also includes China's Guanlong and Kileskus from Russia. Unfortunately, its remains amount to a partial skull, so size estimations are fraught with danger. However, it does sport "swiss army jaws" with a wider variety of teeth than any other theropod dinosaur, and its new classification pushed the origin of "Tyrant Lizards" way back into the Middle Jurassic.
(Bradley's horned lizard)Etymology
Proceratosaurus is derived from the Greek "pro-" (before), "ceras" (horn) and "sauros" (lizard), named to indicate a carnivorous dinosaur with a nasal horn; supposedly ancestral to Ceratosaurus.
The species epithet, bradleyi, honors fossil collector F. Lewis Bradley.
Discovery
The remains of Proceratosaurus were discovered at the Minchinhampton reservoir (BMNH R4860), in the White Limestone Formation of England.
The holotype (BMNH 4860) is a partial skull.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Bathonian
Age range: 168-164 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 3 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.9 meters
Est. max. weight: 120 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• A. S. Woodward (1910) "On a Skull of Megalosaurus from the Great Oolite of Minchinhampton (Gloucestershire)".
• Thomas R. Holtz, jr (1998) "A new phylogeny of the carnivorous dinosaurs".
• O.W.M. Rauhut, A.C. Milner, S. Moore-Fay (2010) "Cranial osteology and phylogenetic position of the theropod dinosaur Proceratosaurus bradleyi (Woodward, 1910) from the Middle Jurassic of England".
• T.R. Holtz, R.E. Molnar and P.J. Currie (2004) "Basal Tetanurae" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• John Long & Peter Schouten (2009) "Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds".
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "PROCERATOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 18th Dec 2017.
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