Cetiosaurus ‭(‬Whale lizard‭)‬

Short Info

Cetiosaurus ‭(‬Whale lizard‭)‬

Phonetic : Seet-e-oh-sore-us.

Named By : Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1842

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 16-18 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Sauropod

Type Species : C.‭ ‬brevis,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬longus,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬medius,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬mogrebiensis,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬oxoniensis

Found in : England,‭ ‬France,‭ ‬Morocco

When it Lived : Mid Jurassic, 170-160 million years ago

Cetiosaurus (/,si:tioU’so:r@s, si:Si–) which means ‘whale lizard”, which comes originated from the Greek keteios/keteios which means’sea’ (later, ‘whale’) and sauros/sauros meaning “lizard is a genus belonging to herbivores. sauropod dinosaurs of early in the Middle Jurassic Period, living around the age of 168 million in the area that is today Europe.


Cetiosaurus mount
Paul Stainthorp from United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Cetiosaurus was the first sauropod in which bones were first described. It was the longest-running sauropod ever found in England. It was named this way because its author Sir Richard Owen, supposed it was a marine animal that was initially a huge crocodile. However, he didn’t recognize it as the land-based dinosaur. Based on the description of the first time, numerous species were named in the genus, and eventually there were 18 species. Many of them have been classified in different genera or are believed to be bogus names due to inadequate fossil evidence. This is also true of the kind species Cetiosaurus medius. therefore C. Oxoniensis was designated as the new species in 2014. C. Oxoniensis is basing itself on three complete specimens that were that were discovered in 1868 or later. Together, they hold the majority of the bones and skulls, with the exception of the skull.

Cetiosaurus Oxoniensis was “primitive”, quadrupedal, large-headed, long-necked herbivore. It had a smaller neck and tail than the majority of sauropods. The forelimbs, on one on the other hand, were quite long. C. Oxoniensis is believed to be around 16 meters (52 feet) long , and to have weighed around 11.5 tons (12 tiny tons).


Rutland CetiosaurusPaul Stainthorp from United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Cetiosaurus and, more specifically, the Neotype species, C. Oxoniensis, is recognized from fairly complete fossils. This includes the three skeletons discovered by Phillips. One of them is a bigger creature (catalogued in the catalogue as OUMNH J13605-13613; J13615-16; J13619-J13688, and J13899) The skeleton was picked from Upchurch & Martin as the type of the species’ lectotype The second one is comprised of the limb bones of a smaller specimen (OUMNH J13614) and the third skeleton is the hind limb and shoulder blade of a young animal (OUMNNH J13617-8 and J13780-1). This Rutland specimen, which is approximately forty percent completed, expands significantly the number of bones, particularly in the neck. The skull is not well-known and is perhaps the only exception of the skull case, which is represented by the OUMNH J13596. One tooth, OUMNH J13597 been tentatively identified as belonging to the species.

Cetiosaurus was, as with all sauropod is a long-necked quadrupedal animal. In the year 2010, Gregory S. Paul estimated the body’s length at 16 metres and the weight was 11 tonnes. The neck measured moderately lengthy but it was not more than the body. The tail was significantly longer, and was composed of at least 40 caudal vertebrae. The dorsal vertebrae, or the bones that ran along the back, were of the initial heavy structure with air chambers with a limited number of air spaces and were not as hollow as the bones of the later sauropods, such as Brachiosaurus. The forearm was twice nearly as long as its upper arm, in contrast to other sauropods. This resulted in an forelimb that was equal to the hindlimb’s length. The thigh bone of the animal was about the length of six feet.

In his initial description, Owen was unable to draw any distinctions among Cetiosaurus or other sauropods, due to the reason that they were not yet identified. Since these relatives have been discovered and identified, the distinctiveness of Cetiosaurus oxoniensis as well as its legitimacy in the taxon register needs to be proved by demonstrating its new derived traits , or autapomorphies. In their revision in 2003 of the genus Upchurch & Martin identified five autapomorphies that belong to C. Oxoniensis. The vertebrae of the neck in the rear as well as the front vertebrae are characterized by having spines at their tops that appear low and symmetrical and have the form of an elongated pyramid. The spines of all back vertebrae , a line is missing between the diapophysis and the spine that is, the top of the rib joint. it has disappeared or possibly fused to the ridge through the vertebrae and postzygapophysis. the process of forming the rear joint. The vertebrae in the middle tail are characterized by tongue-shaped processes that runs across the front surface of the vertebral structure; it extends the the canal of neural. These chevrons on the vertebrae with front tails are characterized by shafts, of which the lower end are flattened from front to rear, instead of transversely. The lower part of the ilium to the pubic bone it was attached, has a triangular depression on the outside of its base, a triangular depression.

Source: Wikipedia