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Ostafrikasaurus crassiserratus is a rather elusive and indefinitive genus and species of medium-sized Theropod from Jurassic Africa.

This possible Ceratosaurid was found in Tendaguru, in Southeastern Africa, 2012. Ostafrikasaurus lived in the Jurassic period 149 million years ago. It is known from a single isolated tooth. A full skeleton has yet to been found, but it is estimated that the whole skeleton would be up to 10.3 meters long and weighing about 2-3 tons.

A publication suggests the possiblity that the Ostafrikasaurus might be a member of Ceratosauria instead of Spinosauridae, additional sources even suggesting Ostafrikasaurus to be a member of the Megalosauridae. However, one thing is clear; more research needs to be concluded. For now, Ostafrikasaurus' relation with other theropods is unclear.

Description[]

Ostafrikasaurus Crassisseratus

Ostafrikasaurus illustration done by the well known Paleoartist, Joschua Knüppe

Although because of the lack of any evidence, its unknown what this dinosaur species diet was. This Spinosaur speculated to be piscivorous due to its cone shaped teeth. This means that it would mainly eat fish like grizzly bears today. It also may have used it claws in much the same way to aid in catching fish. This lifestyle would mean that it would always spend its time in and around large bodies of water with a sustainable population of fish. Since there was no other large carnivores doing this as well (save for other Ostafrikasaurus) this carnivore would more than likely have flourished in its time in the late jurassic. Although lately, its clear from the behavioral evidence from other Spinosaurids like Irritator, Baryonyx & Siasmosaurus, it definitely was not solely or an obligatory piscivore. It also wasn't possible to sustain itself entirely just on fish due to its environment and other ecological factors.

Ostafrikasaurus may have been one of the earliest Spinosaurs to have evolved. This would result in it having very Megalosaurid-like features like a shortened snout, minimized arms and small sail. The purpose of this sail so early in Spinosaur evolution is unknown but it may have been used to attract a mate, help expel excess body heat to cool down, warn off bigger predators or help recognize other members of its species. Its name comes from Deutsch-Ostafrika (or German East Africa, a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now Burundi, Rwanda and Tanganyika) in which the holotype was found, from the Greekσαῦρος, sauros meaning "lizard". The specific name is derived from the Latin crassus, meaning "thick" and serratus, "serrated" in reference to the shape of the holotype tooth. The discovery of Ostafrikasaurus often links Spinosaurs with Megalosaurus in popular culture.

Ostafrikasaurus crassiseratus by teratophoneus-d4xu5t7

Ostafrikasaurus crassiseratus by teratophoneus

Ostafrikasaurus crassiserratus (ceratosauridae) by cisiopurple

Ostafrikasaurus crassiserratus (ceratosauridae) by cisiopurple

In popular culture[]

References[]

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