How Big Was Ceratosaurus?

Although there were plenty of dinosaurs with horns on their head, there were very few of them who were predators, and Ceratosaurus is one of those with perhaps the most prominent of horns. It was a medium sized dinosaur from the Jurassic Period and while medium for dinosaurs was still large we take a look at actually how big a Ceratosaurus was here in this article.

Ceratosaurus was a horned dinosaur that measured around 5.5 to 7 meters in length (18 to 21 feet) and stood about 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall at the hip, although taller with its head held up,and it has an estimated weight range of between 400 to 900 kg (around 1-2,200 lbs).

So while the horned ceratosaurus not the largest of the dinosaur predators it certainly wasn’t small, and we take a look at some comparisons with other dinosaurs and modern day animals below. We also check out the fossils that have been discovered of this unusually horned dinosaur.

How Big Was Ceratosaurus

What Was the Ceratosaurus?

Ceratosaurus was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur that lived between 160 and 145 million years ago during the Late Jurassic period it what is now North America. Its name means “horned lizard” and a quick look at its head tells you why, it is due to the nasal horn on its skull.

This dinosaur was a two legged predator with a long tail for balance, powerful hind limbs for movement, like other large ( and medium) theropods it had smaller forelimbs armed with sharp claws for grasping prey to go along with a mouth full of sharp teeth.

How Big Was Ceratosaurus?

As we highlighted above Ceratosaurus was not the largest of predators, even for the time and area it lived ( Allosaurus takes that title) it was slap in the middle in terms of size of most predatory dinosaurs, and you can check out its statistics in the table below.

Ceratosaurus was a medium sized dinosaur that measured around 5.5 to 7 meters in length (18 to 21 feet) and was about 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall at the hip, so taller than an average person, ,and it has an estimated weight of between 400 to 900 kg (around 1-2,200 lbs).

There needs to be a little caution when looking at the weight of ceratosaurus though as the estimates vary pretty considerably for a dinosaur this size, as they do for plenty of the carnivore dinsoaurs.

DinosaurLength Height at HipsWeight When it Lived (mya)
Ceratosaurus5-7 meters (16 – 19 22 feet)2 metres (6 feet) 418-980 kg (921 – 2000 lbs) 161 -145 mya

Length of Ceratosaurus

The length of Ceratosaurus, estimated between 5.5 to 6 meters (18 to 20 feet) although some may have been slightly longer. it was relatively small when compared to other large theropods ( which we do below) like Allosaurus, which could reach lengths of up to 12 meters (39 feet though that seems a little extreme!).

While it did live around the same time as Allosaurus their size difference would have likely made them pursue different size prey so potentially were not in, to much, competition, with each other.

Height of Ceratosaurus

Ceratosaurus stood about 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall at the hip. It would have been taller when it raised its head of course, but the best way to measure dinosaurs, even if it can have some seemingly strange results is to do it from the hip.

it would have been shorter than other, perhaps more famous, theropods like T-Rex and Allosaurus, but it was still a pretty tall and impressive dinosaur !

Weight of Ceratosaurus

Estimating the weight of Ceratosaurus has proven to be challenging and the explanations for its wide range of weight estimates can be put down to which dinosaurs it was being compared to and the fossil available to study.

The weight of Ceratosaurus is generally estimated to be between 500 to 1,000 kg (1,100 to 2,200 lbs). While it was not the heaviest or most massive theropod, even at the top estimates, its weight and powerful build made it a capable hunter in its prehistoric environment.

Comparison with Other Dinosaurs

We have put some other dinosaurs into the table below to compare the size of ceratosaurus with some of its contemporaries, however remember that all of these figures are estimates, no matter how well worked out!

Table 1: Size Comparison between Ceratotorus and other predatory dinosaurs.

DinosaurLength (m/f)Height at Hips (m/f)Weight (kg/lbs)When it Lived (mya)
Ceratosaurus5-7 meters (16 – 19 22 feet)2 metres (6 feet) 418-980 kg (921 – 2000 lbs) 161 -145 mya
Carnotaurus7-8 meters 22-24 feet) 2.5 – 3 meters (6.5 to 9 feet) 1,350 2,000 kg (2866 – 4409 lbs) 71-69 mya
T-Rex12.3-13.5 metres (39 – 43 feet)4 meters (12-14 feet) 7-9000 kg (15-19,000 lbs) 68-66 mya
Allosaurus8-11 metres (26- 36 feet) 3 + meters (9-10 feet) up to 3,000 kg (6600 lbs) 155-145 mya
Baryonyx7.5-10 (24 – 31 feet) 2.5-3 meters (8-10 feet) 1-1,700 kg (2200 – 3700 lbs) 130-125 mya
Giganotosaurus12-13.2 metres ( 39 – 43 feet) 4-4.5 meters (12 14+ feet) 6.2-8,000 kg (13,227 – 17,600 lbs) 99-97 mya

Where Did Ceratosaurus Live and With Which Other Dinosaurs?

Ceratosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 160 to 145 million years ago. Its fossils have been found primarily in North America, particularly in the western United States, However some have also been discovered in Europe and Africa.

This suggests that Ceratosaurus had a wide geographic distribution during its time, and of course there wasn’t a huge ocean between those land masses back then!

Ceratosaurus shared its environment with a diverse range of dinosaurs, including giants like Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus, as well as other carnivorous theropods like Allosaurus and Torvosaurus.

These predators would have competed for resources and prey but with the smaller size of the ceratosaurus it may have been able to hunt smaller prey and not compete directly with these large carnivores.

How Big Was Ceratosaurus

How Do We Know the Size of Ceratosaurus?

As we have mentioned in other How Big are Dinosaurs articles on the site Scientists and paleontologists use various methods to estimate the size of dinosaurs and Ceratosaurus is no different.

The size of Ceratosaurus is based on the analysis of fossil specimens that have been discovered and studied by paleontologists. By examining the fossilized bones, scientists can reconstruct the skeleton and estimate the overall size and dimensions of the dinosaur.

Comparing Ceratosaurus with other theropod dinosaurs and using biomechanical models can also help refine these size estimates and although there is of course will not definite answer these methods are already pretty accurate and will only imporev in the future.

Size Comparisons with Modern-Day Animals T

To give you some idea on how large this dinosaur actually was we have compared it to some more common animals you can see alive today.

  • African Elephant: 2.5-4 meters (8-13 feet) tall at the shoulder and up to 12,000 kg (26,000 lbs) in weight.
  • White Rhinoceros: 1.5-1.85 meters (5-6 feet) tall at the shoulder and up to 2,300 kg (5,000 lbs) in weight.
  • Saltwater Crocodile: 6 meters (20 feet) in length and up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) in weight.

So while the Ceratosaurus was shorter that an Elephant today and much MUCH lighter, it was a similar size in length and weight to a saltwater crocodile, a big one at least. Though it is important, we think, to remember, that although it was about the same length and weight it got about on two legs.

So let your mind wander to the the thought to a two legged crocodile running about and then decide if its smaller size makes it less scary!!

We have a series of articles on How Big Dinosaurs were, including sauropods and carnivores, and you can follow the links below to check out the size of other popular dinosaurs. We are expanding this section on a regular basis.

How Big was AllosaurusHow Big was T-RexHow Big was PterodactylHow Big was Triceratops
How Big was StegosaurusHow Big was AmphicoeliasHow Big were Dinosaur BabiesHow big was Spinosaurus
How Big were dinosaur eggsHow Big was a ParasaurolophusHow Big was CarnotaurusHow Big Was Giganotosaurus
How big was DilophosaurusHow Big was ArgentinosaurusHow big was VelociraptorHow big was Brachiosaurus
How Big was AnkylosaurusHow big was CarcharodontosaurusHow big was therizinosaurusHow big was Ceratosaurus
How big was KronosaurusHow big was Meraxes gigasHow big was MosasaurusHow big was Megalodon

And if you wanted to know some of the smallest dinosaurs ever you can check out the article on the site as well. As although dinosaurs are often thought to be huge monstrous animals there were plenty of small ones as well and we take a look at them on the link above.


Ceratosaurus is prehaps more famous for its horn, and its color changing in Jurassic World Lost World than for its size but that size ashould not be undersetimated. It was maybe a medium-sized theropod with plenty bigger ( and for that matter smaller than it) but it was still a formidable predator.

It measured around 5.5 to 6 meters (18 to 20 feet) in length, stood about 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall at the hip, and weighed between 500 to 1,000 kg (1,100 to 2,200 lbs). or as we put up in the article imagine a full size saltwater crocodile that can run on two legs!

How Big Was Ceratosaurus


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