The genus Centrosaurus encompassed some species of ornitischian ceratopsial dinosaurs that inhabited the Earth approximately 65 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous Period, close to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction.
Those who know Greek usually call it centrosaurus, but if we wanted to give a meaning to this word in our language it would be “sharp-pointed reptile”.
In Greek, the word kentron means point or tickle while the now widely used suffix saurus has the meaning of the word lizard.
Its meaning refers to the continuous small horns it has along the margin of its flywheel.
In no case should a Centrosaurus be confused with a Kentrosaurus, even though they come from the same Greek word, they are different dinosaurs.
Basic information about the Centrosaurus
The Centrosaurus is a genus of dinosaur in the family Ceratopsidae.
They were fairly large dinosaurs with a fairly respectable horn.
How long is it? – It’s about 6 meters long approximately.
How tall are they? – The height of this dinosaur is about 2 meters.
What is its weight? – The approximate weight of the Centrosaurus is 3 tons.
When did it live? – It inhabited the Earth about 75 million years ago.
What is its family? – It belongs to the ceratopsid family.
The taxonomy of the Centrosaurus
Kingdom Animalia > Filo Chordata > Superorder Dinosauria > Order Ornithischia > Suborder Neoromithischia > Suborder Ceratopsia > Family Ceratopsidae > Subfamily Centrosaurinae > Tribe Centrosaurini > Genus Centrosaurus
It is not known for certain whether they are all the same as the Centrosaurus apertus or not.
The family: ceratopsids
The dinosaur family called Ceratopsidae includes all the dinosaurs that have horns. The bad luck that these dinosaurs had is that they lived in the last Age of Dinosaurs and probably left the earth because of the meteorite that extinguished all the dinosaurs.
This family of dinosaurs was really common, and in fact it is known that there were quite a few types of ceratopsids and dozens of species.
Even though they are common and abundant according to the data we have, they have only been found in the areas of North America and Asia.
Characteristics of the ceratopsids
There are two main characteristics of the ceratopsids that have not been refuted so far: all the known species were quadrupeds and they were boiling animals.
Other remarkable characteristics of the ceratopsids are that they have shear-shaped teeth, quite elaborate horns and frills around their neck. The most curious thing is that their teeth would reappear when they were worn out.
The difference between the different types of ceratopsids is the size of their frills and their horns. If we talk about the Centrosaurinae, the difference is that the latter would have developed nasal horns, shorter, rectangular-shaped frills and quite elaborate spines on the back of the frill.
The frills in most species are quite fragile and the purpose of the frills is not quite clear.
It is likely that it was used as a method of defence against predators or it may have been one of the sexual characteristics to attract the opposite sex.
Several fossil deposits have been found where the bones of different ceratopsid dinosaurs were together. That’s why it’s very likely that these lived in herds.
Description of Centrosaurus
The fairly large bodies of the centrosaurs obviously had fairly robust limbs but even so they were not as large and reached speeds of 6m/s.
As is common in other centrosaurids, Centrosaurus had rather large horns placed over their noses. Depending on the sample, their horns were curved forward or backward.
It should also be noted that they had a pair of horns over their eyes that pointed upwards. Their flounces had large, short horns along their outer edge.
It should also be mentioned that the jaws of the centrosaurs were quite robust and capable of cutting through thick vegetation.
The legs of the centrosaurus were quite wide, and their toes had quite a bit of fat which padded their bodies, allowing them to maintain a balance of their body weight. A current example with which we could compare the legs are those that have the elephants.
In addition, their front legs were shorter than their hind legs, allowing them to turn at greater speed. It is also worth mentioning that their body was quite wide.
The centrosaurus generally lived in herds and you could say that it was an intelligent animal. In the presence of an enemy predator, male centrosaurus would form circles around their young and the weaker ones.
When and where did this dinosaur live?
When did this horned dinosaur live? – The existence of these dinosaurs was quite a long time ago compared to the human race, but quite a short time ago compared to the existence of other dinosaurs.
The Centrosaurus was a dinosaur that was present on earth from about 75 million years ago to about 70 million years ago.
If we talk about Ages, Periods and so on, it would have lived in the Mesozoic, in the Upper Cretaceous.
Where did the Centrosaurus live? – Certainly we cannot know where the Centrosaurus lived, but at least we can know where they did.
The Centrosaurus would have inhabited the area of North America, where it is common to find remains of dinosaurs with horns, not only of the Centrosaurus.
It’s likely that they lived in herds on the plains or prairies of Alberta. This area had plenty of water even in the Cretaceous period.
What do Centrosaurus eat?
To see what a dinosaur might have eaten, it is obvious that the first thing to investigate is its teeth. In the case of the Centrosaurus, they had quite sharp teeth to belong to the ceratopsids.
Yet it’s been deduced that this dinosaur was a boiling animal. Its fairly sharp teeth enabled it to chew through tougher vegetation without any problems. Its teeth were not only very sharp, they also grew back when they were worn out.
The latter allowed them to chew any kind of vegetation, because in case they were worn out, new teeth would appear.
Who discovered this horned dinosaur?
Who discovered this cuckold dinosaur? – Centrosaurus were quite abundant and several remains of this dinosaur have been found, so the interesting question would be who discovered the first specimen of Centrosaurus.
Paleontologist Lawrence Morris Lambe takes all the credit for this family of dinosaurs as he was the first to discover it. This discovery happened in the year 1904.
In 1904, Lambe found the first Centrosaurus remains. He found this by the Deer River in a town called Alberta in Canada. Later, more Centrosaurus remains were found in Dinosaur Provincial Park, also in Alberta.
Thousands of remains of all ages and all levels of completion were found over hundreds of meters in what is called a dinosaur burial ground.
This phenomenon makes us suspect that due to the high density and quantity of dead individuals in that area it would be explained if they had died while trying to cross a quite flooded river.
A dinosaur bone cemetery of thousands of remains was also found near the city of Hilda that belongs to the State of Alberta.
This would be the largest dinosaur bed discovered so far, and the area has been dubbed the “Hilda Dinosaur Mega Cemetery”.
Did you know that? – In 2005 the species Centrosaurus brinkmani was described, in 2012 it was moved to a new genus of dinosaurs, the Coronosaurus.
More about the discoverer Lawrence Morris Lambe
Lawrence Morris Lambe (1863 – 1919) devoted almost all his professional life to dinosaur research. His profession has been that of geologist and paleontologist of the GSC, Geological Survey of Canada.
He is the first Canadian geologist to receive great repercussion and popularity.
He has devoted most of his life to the dinosaur discoveries in the Alberta area, making known to the world the great dinosaurs that inhabited Canada.
Since 1897, he has been doing research in western Canada, where he has discovered many new species and genera. Most of these are now in the GSC museum.
In 1902, he made his first dinosaur discovery in Canada and found several species of Monoclonius. He also managed to describe the Centrosaurus in 1904.
From then on he managed to find many more like the Euplocephalos in 1910, the Styracosaurus in 1913 and described the Chasmosaurus, Eoceratops and Gorgosaurus in 1914 and 1915.
In 1917 he discovered and created the genus Edmontosaurus and the Panoplosaurus in 1919. He also named Gryposaurus in the same year.
As you can see, this Canadian geologist and paleontologist has contributed a lot to the history of dinosaurs.
So much so that in 1923, a Canadian paleontologist named William A. Parks named his discovery Lambeosaurus after what Lawrence Lambe had brought to Canada and the discovery of dinosaurs.
But not all his life is based on the discovery of dinosaurs, it is worth mentioning that he also described the crocodile named Leidysuchus canadensis in the year 1907, one of the most common crocodiles in the Upper Cretaceous in Alberta.
He also investigated the fish that were in the Devonian, collected various insects and plants from the Tertiary …
As you can see, this man was everywhere, but there is no doubt that all the fame he has achieved within the world of geology and paleontology are his incredible and wonderful findings and contributions to the history of dinosaurs.
Some interesting details about the Centrosaurus
Researcher Thomas M. Lehman has made the observation that fossil centrosaurus have not been found except in Alberta.
This is rare because it is one of the most abundant dinosaurs in the region. In addition, since they are quite large and highly mobile dinosaurs, it is strange that they have not left this area.
This detail may indicate that dinosaurs like the centrosaurus are very sensitive to landscape temperature variations and therefore, they did not leave their area.
This dinosaur would have been quite weak in defense. Even though we commented that in case of predator attack, the males make a circle around their young to defend them, it probably wouldn’t be much use.
This is because their defence mechanisms are virtually non-existent. The flyer would have been quite fragile and its horn would not have done much.
It is also very likely that in their fauna they were with the diabloceratops and medusaceratops, other ceratopsids like the Centrosaurus. It is distinguished from them by having a single horn, so they might have some relationship with each other, but they are not the same and so are classified in different families.