Named By: P. Taquet & D. A. Russell - 1998.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Spinosauridae, Baryonychinae.
Species: C. lapparenti (type).
Size: Uncertain due to lack of fossil remains.
Known locations: Niger.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Initially described upon partial upper and lower jaw bones from a juvenile individual. Additional premaxillae, claw and four dorsal (back) vertebrae have now been attributed to the genus.
Cristatusaurus is recorded as a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur that lived in Africa during the Cretaceous. Africa has been an important source of spinosauird fossil material, however usually only snouts and teeth, and a few isolated bone fragments are found. Unfortunately, Cristatusaurus is no exception, and at the time of writing only some upper and lower jaw bones, a claw and a handful of vertebrae have been found for the genus. To cast further doubt upon the validity of the genus, some researchers have pointed out that the fossils attributed to Cristatusaurus are really not that different from other early Cretaceous spinosaurid genera such as Baryonyx and Suchomimus. It is for these observations that Cristatusaurus is often listed as a Nomen dubium.
- New data on spinosaurid dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of the Sahara. - Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences à Paris, Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes 327:347-353. - P. Taquet & D. A. Russell - 1998.
- The interrelationships and evolution of basal theropod dinosaurs. - Special Papers in Palaeontology 69: 1-213. - O. W. M. Rauhut - 2003.