species of reptile (fossil)

Cryolophosaurus is a theropod dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic period. It is the only theropod to be found in Antarctica. Cryolophosaurus was discovered in the Jurassic Hanson Formation in the Transantarctic Mountains. The find of this dinosaur was significant because it proves that the dinosaurs lived on all continents and that high latitude climates were tolerated by dinosaurs at that time.

Temporal range: Lower Jurassic
Scientific classification

Cryolophosaurus is also significant because it is the oldest known tetanuran from any continent: it is the only one from the early Jurassic.

Cryolophosaurus had a large crest on the top of the skull, above the eyes. It extends upwards from the skull.

Cryolophosaurus was found about 650 kilometres (400 mi) from the South Pole but then it was about 1,000 km (621 mi) or so farther north.[1][2] Also found were the remains of Glacialisaurus (a large basal sauropodomorph),[3] a crow-sized pterosaur, synapsids, and another unknown theropod.[4] There are also the remains of many plant genera around the same age as fossils of Cryolophosaurus, proving that dense plant matter had once grown on Antarctica's surface before it drifted southward.


  1. Hammer W.R. & Hickerson W.J. 1999. Gondwana dinosaurs from the Jurassic of Antarctica. In Tomida Y; Rich T.H. & Vickers-Rich Y. Proceedings of the Second Gondwana Dinosaur Symposium. National Science Museum Monographs. 15: 211–217.
  2. Dodson P. 1997. Paleoecology. In Currie P.J. & Padian K. Encyclopedia of dinosaurs. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-226810-6
  3. Smith, Nathan D.; Pol, Diego (2007). "Anatomy of a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of Antarctica" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 52 (4): 657–674.[permanent dead link]
  4. Hammer W.R. & Hickerson W.J. 1994. A crested Theropod dinosaur from Antarctica. Science 264 (5160): 828–830.