Ceratosaurus meaning "horned lizard", in reference to the horn on its nose, was a large predatory theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period of North America, Portugal.
Indeed it is one of the most recognizable theropods bred on Isla Sorna, characterized by large jaws with blade-like teeth, a large, blade-like horn on the snout and a pair of large lacrimal crests over the eyes. This facial ornamentation is mainly for display during courtship, but male have occasionally been seen using them to inflict injury on rival males. Males tend to be more robust than females, and sport more elaborate facial ornamentation. But females seem to be more aggressive, especially when they have chicks to defend. The young stay with the mother for around a year, at which point they are forced to leave and fend for themselves. At which point, most meet their ends in the jaws of adult Ceratosaurs. Only around 30% of hatchlings from each clutch make it to adulthood.They have powerfully built, short forelimbs, and a row of small osteoderms down the middle of their backs.
Ceratosaurs are solitary predators that only come together to mate. At other times they can commonly be found roaming the jungles around rivers and waterways. Unlike other medium sized predators, they tend to cautiously approach the kills of larger predators without fear. It is thought that they use the scent markings that these animals leave on trees to track these dangerous animals in the hope of coming across a free meal. In a way, they are like the resurrected scavenger hyenas of the Jurassic. They have been observed utilizing these skills to successfully strip another predators’ catch down to bone in the course of a few hours. They accomplish this by being most active during the night, though they aren’t strictly nocturnal. They also have a very high flight reflex, leaving an area at the slightest hint of another predator approaching. Ceratosaurs can be quite vicious predators when the opportunity to catch food presents itself, but they can be very picky eaters as the handlers commonly pointed out. Although for example, they would have no problems with scavenging for carrion, they never eat the entire animal. In fact, even when given a fresh kill to feed on, they would eat as much flesh as possible and even most organs, but if the slightest tear was made in the intestinal wall their entire attitude would change and they would start nudging the corpse with their horn and scratching at it with their feet only to leave shortly after. This aversion to the smell of dung can also be seen when they come across the droppings of other predators.
Ceratosaurus, at first glance, looks like a fairly typical theropod – however its skull is quite large in proportion to the rest of its body, and uniquely among theropods, Ceratosaurs possess dermal armour, in the form of small osteoderms.
There have been some claims of cross contamination by members of staff, who feel that the Ceratosaurs suspiciously resemble our tyrannosaurs in some regards, even going so far as to claim that dr. Wu must have spliced tyrannosaur DNA into the gaps in the Ceratosaur genome for some reason. These claims are complete nonsense. Granted, our Ceratosaurs are quite robust animals in comparison to their fossil counterparts, and they do have a very deep skull. But the resemblance to our tyrannosaurs is purely coincidental. Genetic tests have been preformed to confirm this. The results (based on duplicate variations of multiple genes) seem to indicate that instead dr. Wu has spliced together the genomes of two Ceratosaur species (C. nasicornis and the more robust C. Dentisulcatus).The only thing our Ceratosaurs have in common with the tyrannosaurs is the amphibian DNA used to repair the degraded fossil genome.
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