Named By: Z.-M. Dong - 2002.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Thyreophora, Ankylosauridae, Ankylosaurinae.
Species: C. bohlini (type).
Size: Roughly about 3 to 3.5 meters long.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Sunjiawan Foramtion.
Time period: Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Holotype based upon a jaw and teeth, remains of further remains including a skull and several postcranial elements have now been added to the genus.
seems to have been a fairly small genus of ankylosaur that lived in
China during the earlier stages of the Late Cretaceous period. As an
Crichtonsaurus would have been a squat
that browsed upon low growing plants.
At the time of writing two species of Crichtonsaurus have been identified by Chinese palaeontologists, though some research has already cast some doubts upon the apparent validity of these species. In a Ph. D thesis written by Victoria Megan Arbour, it was noted that there was no clear link between the holotype specimen of Crichtonsaurus and the later referred fossils, and that on this basis the type species C. bohlini was dubious. Arbour also stated that at least one partial skeleton attributed to C. bohlini should be moved to the second species C. benxiensis. However it was noted that there are clear differences in the scapulas (shoulder blades) of the known fossil specimens, and that itself does support the presence of at least two ankylosaurs species/genera in the Sunjiawan Formation. A later study (Arbour & Currie) saw C. benxiensis removed from the genus and used to establish its own genus which subsequently became known as Crichtonpelta.
Crichtonsaurus was named after the famous writer Michael Crichton. Among other things, Michael Crichton wrote many great bestselling books, two of which will be known to many dinosaur fans being Jurassic Park in 1990, and The Lost World in 1995, both of which were remade into, major blockbuster movies in 1993 and 1997 respectively, which would also in turn spawn their own sequels.
- A new armored dinosaur (Ankylosauria) from Beipiao Basin, Liaoning Province, northeastern China. - Vertebrata PalAsiatica 40(4):276-285. - Z.-M. Dong - 2002.
- A new species of the ankylosaurid dinosaur Crichtonsaurus (Ankylosauridae: Ankylosauria) from the Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China. Acta Geologica Sinica 81(6):883-897. - J. Lü, Q. Ji, Y. Gao & Z. Li - 2007.
- Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs. - Ph.D thesis, University of Alberta. - Victoria Megan Arbour - 2014
- Systematics, phylogeny and palaeobiogeography of the ankylosaurid dinosaurs. - Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 14 (5): 1. - Victoria M. Arbour & Philip J. Currie - 2015.