Colorado dinosaur discovery – Ceratosaurus

Ceratosaurus skeleton
A Ceratosaurus attacks a Dryosaurus in this skeleton pose at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The meat-eating Ceratosaurus was first discovered near Cañon City. | Photo by Via Tsuji /


The bones of the Ceratosaurus, a meat-eating predator from the Jurassic period, were first found in Garden Park near Cañon City, and the dinosaur was named and described by paleontologist Othniel Marsh in 1884.

The Ceratosaurus had the large head, short arms, strong legs and long tail of other predators but was noted for its large jaws, blade-like teeth and large, blade-like horn on its snout.

Paleontologists have debated whether the horn was used as a weapon or was decorative. The typical Ceratosaurus was about 25 feet long and weighed between a half ton and a ton.

The Ceratosaurus has been featured in several movies, including battles with a Stegosaurus in Disney’s “Fantasia” and with a Triceratops in “The Land That Time Forgot” and again in “One Million Years B.C.”