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Temporal range: Early Jurassic
An artist's illustration of Cryolophosaurus ellioti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Genus: Cryolophosaurus
Hammer & Hickerson, 1994
Species: C. ellioti
Binomial name
Cryolophosaurus ellioti
Hammer & Hickerson, 1994

Cryolophosaurus (meaning "cold crested lizard") was a large theropod dinosaur. Due to the resemblance of this feature to Elvis Presley's pompadour haircut from the 1950s, this dinosaur was at one point informally known as "Elvisaurus". Cryolophosaurus was excavated from Antarctica's Early Jurassic Hanson Formation by paleontologist Dr. William Hammer in 1991 and was named in 1993.

It is the first carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered in Antarctica and the first dinosaur of Antarctica to be officially named. Dating from the Early Jurassic Period. It was originally described as the earliest known tetanuran, though subsequent studies have found that it is probably a dilophosaurid. In 2009, Nesbitt found it to be a neither dilophosaurid nor averostran neotheropod but the sister group of a clade composed of dilophosaurids and averostrans. Cryolophosaurus was about 6 to 8 meters (20 to 26 feet) in length. Cryolophosaurus also sports nasal crest, and it is 65 centimeters (25 inches) long.

Discovery and naming[]

Cryolophosaurus attack

Cryolophosaurus has killed a Glacialisaurus, as another approaches and tries to get a bite out of.

Cryolophosaurus was collected during the 1990-91 expedition by William R. Hammer and his team, on Mount Kirkpatrick. They were located in the siltstone of the Hanson Formation and dated to the Pliensbachian stage of the early Jurassic. In 1991, both Hammer and the geologist David Elliot had excavated separate outcroppings near Beardmore Glacier, sharing logistical expenses. Elliot’s team first discovered the remains of Cryolophosaurus in a rock formation and notified Hammer. Over the next three weeks, Hammer excavated 5,000 pounds (2300 kg) of fossil-bearing rock. The team recovered over 100 fossil bones, including those of Cryolophosaurus. These specimens were formally named and described in 1994 by Hammer and William J. Hickerson, in the journal Science. Hammer and Hickerson named the species C. ellioti after David Elliot, who had made the initial discovery of the fossils.

DR Cryolopho

Dinosaur Revolution Cryolophosaurus


The holotype (FMNH PR1821) is the only fully described specimen of Cryolophosaurus. The specimen consists of an incomplete skull and mandibles lacking most of their front half, nine maxillary teeth,a fragmentary sixth cervical centrum, 7-10 cervical vertebraes, several posterior cervical ribs, several anterior dorsal vertebrae, most mid and posterior dorsal vertebrae, several dorsal ribs, the fifth sacral vertebrae, three chevrons, many partial and complete caudal vertebrae and centra, two partial humeri, a proximal radius, a proximal ulna, a partial ilium, a proximal pubis, both ischia, the distal end of a tibia, the distal end of a fibula, and the astragalus and calcaneum. In 2013, new material of Cryolophosaurus was unearthed in Antarctica.

Cryolophosaurus was a large, well-built theropod, one of the largest of its time. The genus has been described by Roger Benson and colleagues as a top predator in Antarctica. It had slender proportions. Cryolophosaurus was estimated as being 6 to 7 m (19.7ft-23.0ft) in length by William R. Hammer & William J. Hickerson. A 2007 study by Nathan Smith et al. revised the length to 6.5 m (21.3 ft). Its weight estimated at 465 kilograms (1,025 lb). Based on these length and weight estimates, Cryolophosaurus is currently the largest known Early Jurassic theropod. Smith and Benson noted that the holotype individual probably represents a sub-adult, so adults could have been larger. In 2016 Molina-Pérez and Larramendi gave a larger estimation of 7.7 meters (25.3 ft) and 780 kg (1.720 lbs).


It is classified as neotheropoda.


In the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was closer to the equator and the world was warmer than today, but the climate was still cool. although more extreme conditions existed inland. Cryolophosaurus lived with Glacialisaurus,a dimorphodontid, a synapsid, herbivorous synapsid, and two unnamed sauropodomorphs. There are also the remains of many plant genera recovered from the Early Jurassic Camp Hill Formation, around the same age as fossils of Cryolophosaurus, proving that dense plant matter had once grown on Antarctica's surface before it drifted southward.

In the media[]

  • Cryolophosaurus appears in the first episode of Dinosaur Revolution. In the episode, as a mated pair look on their eggs a larger male appears and he attacks the resident male and eats the eggs. It later appears planning an attack on a lone Glacialisaurus. He tries to ambush, but the Glacialisaurus fell down the log the Cryolophosaurus chased its prey on and into the mud. As the Cryolophosaurus is being assaulted by a flock of giant mosquitoes, it runs towards a herd of Glacialisaurus, chasing off the dominant male. However, the lone Glacialisaurus survived, covered in hard mud that is mosquito-proof. 
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Cryolophosaurus in Dinosaurs:In The Beginning

  • Cryolophosaurus also appears in both Primal Carnage and Primal Carnage: Extinction. It has the ability to spit out poison in Primal Carnage, where it is simply an alternate skin for the Dilophosaurus in the game. It instead spits out acid in the sequel, Primal Carnage: Extinction.
  • Cryolophosaurus appears in Warpath: Jurassic Park as one of the six unlockable dinosaurs. It can be unlocked after Triceratops, and right before Albertosaurus. Its move pattern was the same to that as Tyrannosaurus rex and Acrocanthosaurus. It has fast but weak attacks and combos. However, instead of biting, this Cryolophosaurus uses its crest to attack. It has 3 different colors: black, light orange, and green.
  • Cryolophosaurus appears as a mob in both the PaleoCraft and Orespawn Minecraft mods.
    Oresp cryo

    Cryolophosaurus as it appears in Orespawn

  • Cryolophosaurus appeared on Dinosaur Train, the individuals are King and Crystal.
Cryolophosaurus PaleoCraft

PaleoCraft Cryolophosaurus

  • Cryolophosaurus also appeared in Dinosaur King.
  • Cryolophosaurus appears in dinosaur world mobile,which appeared in Christmas update.



Cryolophosaurus Battle - Reign of the Dinosaurs