12 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 12

I guess you can pick which one is Elvis and which ones are Jordanaires. 
Name: Cryolophosaurus ellioti
Meaning: [geologist David] Elliot's frozen crested reptile
Time: Early Jurassic, c 190 million years ago
Place: Antarctica
Size: about 6.5 metres (21.3 feet) long, but the known specimen is a subadult
Type of Dinosaur: uncertain, but probably a tetanuran theropod (advanced stiff-tailed predatory dinosaur)

Antarctica probably teemed with dinosaurs over the Mesozoic Era, but its frigid climate makes palaeontological work there very difficult. Cryolophosaurus is one of only a handful of dinosaurs to be excavated from the continent, and the first Antarctic dinosaur to be named and described. A popular nickname for this predator is 'Elvisaurus,' in reference to the tall, forward-swept pompadour-like crest on top of the head. This structure was too breakable for any physical combat but would've made a brilliant visual signal.

Here I've illustrated a fluffy family of Cryolophosaurus - with slightly different crest sizes and shapes to indicate differences between sex, age, and individual condition. The feathery-fuzz coatings are speculative, but Antarctica would've been quite chilly, even during the mostly-steamy Early Jurassic, so these dinosaurs probably would have benefited from the added insulation.

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