The ornithischian dinosaurs during the Cretaceous evolved into a number of interesting groups. From bipedal ornithischians during the Jurassic, like Camptosaurus, the larger and more nimble ornithopods of the Cretaceous evolved. One of the first dinosaurs to be scientifically described was Iguanodon, a bipedal herbivore thought to have moved about in herds. Iguanodon was between 6 and 10 meters long and weighed around 5 tons.
- The Camptosaurus-meaning bent lizard- Lived during the Jurassic era about 150 million years ago.
- It was medium-sized as far as dinosaurs go, weighing about 1,200 pounds and measuring about 23 feet long from head to tail.
- Its head was elongated with tightly-packed blunt teeth in the back of its jaw-evidence of a plant eater.
- In the family Camptosauridae, the toes and fingers ended with small hooflike claws.
- Some had the beginnings of the spiked thumbs that became better developed in the iguanodontids.
- Their teeth were densely packed. Camptosaurus, “bent lizard”, possessed a sharp, horny, toothless beak.
- Camptosaurus had cheeks much like humans. That is they could hold foodstuff in their mouths and chew it like other herbivores-plant eating.
- The Camptosaurus lived in bulky forests secure to rivers. It possibly lived in herds and this would have given it guard from their main meat eating predators, such as the Allosaurus.
- Camptosaurus fossils have been discovered in western North America, Europe, and Australia.
- A complete skeleton was excavated from Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, and fossil evidence of the dinosaur has also been found in Cañon City.
INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT FACT
The dinosaurs was first described by O.C marsh in 1879, but called the dinosaur a Camptonotus. Later the name was changed to Camptosaurus in 1885.