Dinosaur Names Beginning With The Letter C
On this page you’ll discover some incredible dinosaur names beginning with the letter C, including Centrosaurus, Chaoyangsaurus and Chasmosaurus.
Our favourite dinosaur beginning with the letter C is Carnotaurus. Why? Carnotaurus was a carnivore and an incredibly effective killing machine. What blows our minds more than anything is that remains of Carnotaurus have been found with skin. This has helped scientist in so many ways gain a much better understanding of what Carnotaurus looked like.
We update this list of dinosaur names beginning with C frequently, so be sure to check back often to see what other amazing dinosaurs we’ve added below.
Camarasaurus was the most common of all large sauropods to be found in North America with finds in Colorado and Utah, with the fossil discoveries being some of the most well preserved dinosaurs ever found.
It’s teeth were similar to chisels and were evenly arranged in the jaw. The teeth’s strength make scientists believe that they ate tougher plant material than other sauropods such as Diplodocus for instance.
Its believed that Camarasaurus, like other Sauropods, had hollow vertebrae to save weight. This is actually where its name originates translating to “chambered lizard”.
The first fossils were found in 1877 by Oramel W Lucas and named by palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope who paid for the bones and named them that year as the competition for discoveries was heating up between him and another palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh.
Its thought that Camarasaurus travelled in herds or with family groups after two adults were found together
Camptosaurus means “flexible lizard” in reference to its suspected flexibility of its back. It was named by palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879 having been that year in Albany County, United States.
Many fossils have been found over the years and attributed to Camptosaurus but have since been associated with other dinosaurs. Some of the similarities were with dinosaurs such as Iguanodon.
Camptosaurus had powerful legs and was able to spend a lot of its time weight bearing on them and not using all four limbs. It had a lot of teeth which fossils have shown to have a lot of heavy wear which scientists believe was to do with the chewing so it was able to digest its food properly. May also have meant Camptosaurus ate plants that were too tough for other dinosaurs to eat.
With its similarities to Iguanodon it was believed to be able to reach running speeds of 15mph (25km per hour).
Carcharodontosaurus was a large theropod dinosaur and in fact it was as large, or even larger than Tyrannosaurus, Spinosaurus, and Giganotosaurus, and was given its name after a shark as Carcharodontosaurus means “jagged teeth lizard”.
Its teeth as the above may suggest, were long and serrated and were said to be up to 8 inches long. It had an enormous and powerful jaw and neck muscles and therefore would have been able to lift up animals that weighed nearly a ton. It was a very dominating predator.
Carcharodontosaurus lived in what is now Northern Africa, with the first remains being discovered in Algeria in 1924 when two large teeth were found. At the time in the Late Cretaceous Period South America had broken away from Africa and that is why its relatives including Tyrannosaurus were so similar in size and shape. The environment they were in would also have been similar, warm and humid.
Carnotaurus is derived from the Latin carno [carnis] (“flesh”) and taurus (“bull”) and can be translated as “meat-eating bull”.
Carnotaurus was a carnivore and an incredibly effective killing machine. What still isn’t clear to scientists is just how this apex predator hunted. Some scientists believe that Carnotaurus was strong enough to tackle large sauropods, even hunting along.
An incredibly well-preserved skeleton of Carnotaurus was discovered in 1984 by Argentinian palaeontologist José Bonaparte. This fossilised skeleton was so well preserved that it even had skin impressions. This adult Carnotaurus skeleton included much of the front of the Dinosaur, with very little of the legs and the tail left due to being eroded.
What makes Carnotaurus even more exciting to study from a scientific perspective is that skin impressions have been found from several areas of its body including Carnotaurus jaw, with the largest area of fossilised skin found was around the tail. Incredibly that when Carnotaurus was first discovered a large amount of skin was around the right-hand side of its skull. Unfortunately, this wasn’t correctly identified at the time and – yep you guessed it – removed… A proper ‘head in hands moment’ for the paleontologists working on this particular specimen.
It is also believed Carnotaurus could run up to speeds of 35mph (56kmph) making it one of the fastest theropod dinosaurs.
Caudipteryx was extremely bird like in appearance as you can see by the image, was the size of a peacock, and one of the first known feathered dinosaurs. It was first discovered in 1997 in North eastern China and was named the next year.
Caudipteryx’s body was covered in a coat of short feathers, with an additional fan of feathers on its short tail. Its discovery led to more debates and studies of the relationship between birds and dinosaurs. One such study concluded that Caudipteryx was not a theropod dinosaurs but was a flightless bird.
Its thought that Caudipteryx was a omnivorous due to fossilised stomach stones being found in some specimens. These stones were thought to have occurred due to post digestion of tough plant material or skeletons of insects.
Caudipteryx was a member of a group of theropods that were closely related to birds called Oviraptorosauria. They were different to most theropods as they had a short tail, deep belly, and many had few teeth.
Cedarpelta is known from only two partial skulls that were found in Utah, United States and was named in 2001 after the Cedar mountains they were discovered in. The species name of the discoveries “Cedarpelta bilbeyhallorum” was in honour of the two people that found the fossil, Sue Ann Bilbey and Evan Hall.
Its amazing to think from the little fossils that were retrieved, scientists believe that Cedarpelta was a dinosaur that moved on all four limbs and it specialised in foraging in low plantation. Its hard to establish its size and armour but scientists have made some estimations on its size and weight.
There have been other fossils of ankylosaurid dinosaurs that may belong to Cedarpelta as yet unidentified. The two partial skulls that were found had similar traits that were from ankylosaurs.
Cedarpelta would have shared its habitat with other armoured dinosaurs such as Peloroplites and Animantarx.
Centrosaurus was discovered in Alberta, Canada by a palaeontologist named Lawrence Lambe and was given its name as it means “pointed lizard” which refers to the small horns that were at the end of Centrosaurus’s frills (hornlets).
There were two finds after that which were nothing short of spectacular. Firstly vast bonebeds were discovered in the Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, which contained thousands of individuals of all ages. Scientists believe they might have died whilst trying to cross a flooded river. Another discovery of thousands of bones again in Alberta, is believed to be the biggest discovery of dinosaur bones ever.
These large finds helped scientists to describe Centrosaurus and its most distinguished features was the large horns it had over its nose’s, pairs of small horns over the eyes, and small hornlets along its outer fills.
Due to their large bodies its believed they were not the most mobile of dinosaurs and so they had small geographical ranges which explained the high concentration of discoveries in a relatively small area.
Ceratosaurus was similar to Allosaurus in may ways but were not actually closely related. Ceratosaurus moved on two legs, it was smaller and had a small horn above its snout.
Ceratosaurus was discovered by a farmer in 1883 and was removed the year after and sent to Peabody Museum of Natural History, Connecticut, where it was examined by Othniel C Marsh, the American palaeontologist who then named the dinosaur in 1884. The name translates to “horn lizard” and the original discovery was a near complete skeleton.
It wasn’t then until the 1960’s when the next Ceratosaurus was discovered in a quarry in Utah, and since then several more have been unearthed. There have been finds in Portugal, Switzerland and Africa which shows how widely spread this dinosaur was.
Ceratosaurus shared the enviroment it lived in with other predators such as Torvosaurus and Allosaurus. Some scientists believe that they must have had different places in the ecosystem in order to all survive, that could have meant they fed on different prey.
Cetiosauriscus is known by half skeleton (the rear) being discovered in the 1890’s in England. It was then named and described in 1905 but changed in 1927 and even though its very similar to the sauropod, Cetiosaurus, it has its differences.
The name Cetiosauriscus means “whale-lizard-like” which refers to the original confusion occurred when first named as Cetiosaurus means “whale-lizard”.
The original find in an Oxford clay formation, was eventually named Cetiosauriscus stewarti, and “stewarti” was after Sir Ronald Stewart who was the chairman of the company that owned the clay pit in which the fossils were found. The name change concluded in 1980 after it was studied by palaeontologists Charig and Chapman.
Cetiosauriscus was also similar to Diplodocus which along with Barosaurus, and Apatosaurus were subfamilies. It had moderately long tail, long forelimbs that made them as long as their hindlimbs.
Cetiosaurus was described in 1842 as the first sauropod and is the most complete fossil of a sauropod found in England and is on display at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.
Cetiosaurus lived at the same time as the theropod dinosaur, Megalosaurus and they lived in an environment that was in open woodland and flooded. There is no evidence yet that these dinosaurs encountered each other but we never know what discoveries will be made in the future. Its thought Cetiosaurus ate plantations that were at both low and medium high levels.
Cetiosaurus name means “whale lizard” and was in reference to the original idea that it was a marine creature and the palaeontologist Sir Richard Owen who named Cetiosaurus did not think it was a land dinosaur.
Chaoyangsaurus is named after a Chinese city called “Chaoyang” when it was officially named in 1999, so translated it means “Chaoyang lizard”. It was used in papers and officially described in a paper by two Chinese palaeontologists but this paper was not cited and its thought that it was not properly published back in 1983
Chaoyangsaurus was a small herbivore ceratopsian dinosaur that lived what is now China during the Late Jurassic Period. Not a lot is known about this dinosaur as it was discovered with only partial remains of a jaw, neck, vertebrae, shoulder blade, and upper arm.
The size of Chaoyangsaurus is based on the partial fossils found and is an estimation only as scientists could not be sure. There have been estimations that it was 0.6m to 1 meter in length. This is based purely on the one discovery.
Its thought Chaoyangsaurus was a herbivore dinosaur.
Chasmosaurus means “opening lizard” which refers to the openings in its frill. All discoveries of Chasmosaurus have been made at the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta, Canada.
Chasmosaurus was first discovered in 1898 when a partial neck fill bone was discovered. It was known then that this fossil fine was of a new species but with little other evidence it was difficult to add any further substance to the find. That was until 1913 when an American palaeontologist called Charles Hazelius Sternberg was searching with his sons and found several complete skulls. The original Canadian palaeontologist that studied the first finding, Lawrence Lamb, was finally able to name this new species he first studied 16 years earlier.
Chasmosaurus was a medium sized ceratopsian that had the most distinguishable feature’s of the holes in its frill. There is an impressive display of a skeleton Chasmosaurus at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada.
Chindesaurus was discovered in the United States when a partial skeleton was discovered at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona in 1984. The fossil was airlifted a year later and there is still local celebrations at the park to mark the discovery anniversary. There has been much debate about where this dinosaur sits in the family tree of theropods and it wasn’t named until 1995.
Chindesaurus had long legs, long neck, a stout body, and was roughly the size of a wolf. These are based on estimations as it is unsure if the fossil discovery was of a juvenile, so body estimations are very rough. Chindesaurus was also thought to be a quick runner as it was smaller and more agile, when it is compared to other theropod dinosaurs. This may have been needed, especially if it was hunted by larger predators.
The name Chindesaurus refers to the location where the find was made, “Chinde Point”, and the word “Chinde” also means ghost.
Chinshakiangosaurus is known from partial fossil remains, which included a lower jaw, some vertebrae, some pelvic bones and hind limbs. It was discovered in 1970 in Yunnan, a Chinese province by scientist Zhao Xijin, amongst the mud and sandstones. Other fossils have been discovered there and scientists have said the sediments were made in the Late Jurassic Period but more detail into the exact time is hard to calculate.
Chinshakiangosaurus was a large sauropod dinosaur that had the normal distinguishing features such as a long neck and tail.
The teeth, and tapered snout on the fossil showed scientists that Chinshakiangosaurus would have consumed only certain plants as these shaped snouts in sauropods were usually selective eaters.
Compare that to the later broad snout, deep jawed sauropods, where they were known to be bulk feeders, such as Diplodocus, where they were all about consuming vast amounts of plantation to feed there enormous bodies.
Chirostenotes was first discovered in 1914 by a palaeontologist in the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation, Canada. This was then studied by another palaeontologist who died before completing his research and so another took over. Charles Gilmore, used his notes and in 1924 named the species.
Since then many different scientists have had many theories on the specifics of Chirostenotes, and after research was conducted in 1988 of a fossil specimen that had been in storage for sixty five years, did it give scientists more knowledge on Chirostenotes. It is still being studied now with the last paper on Chirostenotes being published in 2020 that concluded Chirostenotes was a distinct form from Caenagnathus.
Chirostenotes had long arms, ending in straight claws, it had long powerful legs with slim toes. It was estimated to be around 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) in length and weighed 100kg (220Ibs).
Chubutisaurus was a large sauropod dinosaur that lived in the Early Cretaceous Period in South America. It was discovered in the Chubut Province, Argentina, and so the name translates to, “Chubut lizard”, in recognition of the location it was found. The fossils that were found included partial skulls of at least two individuals.
The size of Chubutisaurus has been debated and the ranges in length have gone from 18 meters (59ft) to 23 meters (75 ft). Scientists will only know more when and if more fossils of Chubutisaurus are slowly discovered in time.
Chubutisaurus has been classed as a Titanosaur. This was a group of sauropods that were amongst the last surviving group of long necked sauropods and included some of the largest land animals that have ever lived including Argentinosaurus, and Puertasaurus, which were from the same region as Chubutisaurus. Titanosaurs have not been a well known group and the relationships between the different species are still not clear.
Chungkingosaurus, the “Chungking lizard” was first discovered from 1977 near the Chinese place of Chongqing (formally known as Chungking). The name was not assigned until 1983 when a Chinese palaeontologist, Dong Zhiming named the find.
Chungkingosaurus was a stegosaur which meant it was a herbivore and was around at the same time as other large plant eating dinosaurs such as Chialingosaurus. It also had to avoid the presence of theropods such as Yangchuanosaurus who may have preyed on Chungkingosaurus.
As a stegosaur Chungkingosaurus had two rows of plates and spikes on its back. Its thought it had fourteen pairs of plates.
Like other stegosaurs its tail had spikes on the end which may have used its tail as a defensive weapon to potentially keep predators away. The force of these tails making impact would have cause great harm to any perpetrator.
Citipati was rather strangely named after two monks that were beheaded in buddhist folklore. The first discovery fossils were made in the 1990’s and it was in 2001 when Citipati was named by Palaeontologist James Clark.
The discovery was made in the Gobi desert, China during an expedition which found many dinosaur fossils. The remains of Citipati was found in a nesting position and was an amazing find with the huge oval eggs were bigger than a human hand
Citipati was a oviraptorid dinosaur which means it was a bird like dinosaur, and a beaked, toothless theropod. Having no teeth meant to eat Citipati would have nipped at fruits, leaves, twigs, using the sharp edges of its jaw. It would also have grabbed small animals with its hands that were clawed.
Due to the discovery it showed scientists that the displays of the nesting behaviours were similar to birds.
MichielPetrified Forest from Petrified Forest, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Coelophysis was a small carnivore that lived in what is now the Southwestern United Sates, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The first discoveries were made in 1881 by an amateur fossil collector in New Mexico. It was originally thought it was a species of Coelurus dinosaur in 1987, but in 1889y Edward Drinker Cope, an American palaeontologist, changed his mind and made Coelophysis a new genus of dinosaur.
Coelophysis was actually taken into space in 1998 when a skull from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History when on board of a space shuttle and was taken to the space station before returning safely back to Earth.
There have been multiple fossil discoveries of Coelophysis at several locations which has made scientists think they moved in packs. But some theories are that they were gathered to drink and feed from a water hole and were buried in a flash flood.
Coelurus means “hollow tail” and the fossil discovery made between 1879 and and 1980, is still the only species on record. This partial fossil is displayed at the Yale Peabody Museum. It was named by the American palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh who famously had a fierce rivalry with another palaeontologist and this was named “Bone wars”.
The discover of Coelurus was made at the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, United States, which is a famous dinosaur discovery area. Other dinosaurs discovered there are Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, and Stegosaurus.
Coelurus was a small theropod dinosaur, and being a carnivore would have fed on insects, mammals, and lizards, as it preffered small and easily captured prey. It is thought that Coelurus was a very quick dinosaur which run on two legs, and it would have sprinted to catch its prey and escape when being hunted itself. There was probably few dinosaurs that would have caught Coelurus.
Coloradisaurus was named by David Lambert in 1983, but this was because in 1978 the dinosaur was originally named Coloradia by Jose Fernando Bonaparte in 1978. The problem was that “Coloradia” was already associated with a type of moth so the name had to change.
The discovery of the now, Coloradisaurus, was in 1971 when a mostly completed skull was unearthed in the Los Colorados Formation, Argentina. Scientists know that the Los Colorados Formation was formed in the Late Triassic Period so that made the timeline of Coloradisaurus fairly simple.
Coloradisaurus was named after the Los Colorados Formation and what we do know is this dinosaur was a herbivore and Sauropod. Its size that is listed is hypothetical as we wont know exactly until another species is discovered.
Coloradisaurus is still drawing in scientists to study it as there have been studies conducted form as late as 2020 on this dinosaur.
Compsognathus was a small theropod dinosaur that lived in the late Jurassic Period and was first discovered in Europe in 1859. When palaeontologist Johann Wagner first named the fossil that was found in Bavaria, Germany, he originally described it as a lizard.
Compsognathus was an important discovery because palaeontologists in the coming years studied it and concluded that the dinosaur Archaeopteryx was compared to Compsognathus and were both referred to as “bird-like reptiles”. They concluded that birds must have evolved from dinosaurs. Many palaeontologists went to Munich to see the fossil, thus its importance back in the late 1800’s.
Compsognathus was possibly the size of a Turkey and a small bipedal dinosaur with long legs, and a long tail. Its teeth was pointed and small which made it ideal for feeding on small animals and insects. It was also thought to be a fast and agile runner thanks to its long legs and tail.
First discovered in 1971 this small but impressive dinosaur, Conchoraptor which means “conch plunderer” revers to the what this dinosaur may have eaten when alive including hermit crabs, and other shelled aquatic species.
To do this, Conchoraptor’s mouth was well adapted to cracking open crustaceans, with a sharp beaked jaw which contained very little teeth. An easy comparison to make would be that of a modern parrot. Furthermore, Conchoraptor didn’t have a display crest upon its head, it walked on two legs and was part of the oviraptorid dinosaur family.
Conchoraptor lived between 70 and 66 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period in what is now classed as Mongolia.
Conchoraptor is estimated to have been between 1–2 meters (3-6.6ft) in length and would have been up to 6ft in height too. It is also believed that Conchoraptor had a large number of feathers on its body, particularly around the arms, but it believed to incapable of flight.
Confuciusornis is special as scientist believe that is it the oldest known bird to have a beak and would have lived some 125 – 120 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous Period.
Confuciusornis wasn’t very big, however scientist believe that this Crow sized measured 50cm (1.6ft) in length and is estimated to have a wingspan of up to 70cm (2.3ft).
Some fossilised remains of Confuciusornis have been found with long tail feathers. These types of tail feathers are thought to be similar to those found on modern birds found in tropical climates such as the ribbon-tailed astrapia or the brown sicklebill.
What’s so important about Confuciusornis is that this animal has contributed immensely to the theory of evolution and in the last 125 million years, birds (in the original form) haven’t changed hugely.
Corythosaurus was a herbivorous, duck-billed dinosaur and would have lived in the Cretaceous Period around 77–75.7 million years ago it what is now classed as North America.
Corythosaurus when translated from Greek means “helmet lizard” and for obvious reasons, thanks to the wonderfully shaped head. The crest itself almost looked like Corythosaurus was wearing a helmet and has been compared to those worn by ancient Greek soldiers. The crest was large measuring around 70.8 centimetres in height or 27.9in. It is also believed that the crest would have been used to make sounds, such as mating calls or other vocal calls which would have been amplified via the crest.
Scientist know a great deal about this particular dinosaur because many specimens have been found. The most complete skeleton of Corythosaurus was found in 1911 and was so well preserved it even had skin impressions.
Corythosaurus was a large dinosaur and is estimated to have been length of 9 metres (30 ft), and has a skull, including the crest, that is 70.8 centimetres (2.32ft) in height.
Cryolophosaurus was one of the largest theropods of its time and is estimated to have been around 6.5 metres or 21.3 ft in length. It is also believed that Cryolophosaurus could weigh up to 465 kilograms or 1,025lb. The skull of is Cryolophosaurus is estimated to have been 65 centimetres or 26 inches in length.
The skull of Cryolophosaurus also had a very distinctive feature that (to date) hasn’t been seen on any other species of dinosaur. This distinctive feature was a small bony crest that covered the entire width of the top of it head. Scientist believe that the only thing that this distinctive bony crest was used to help other Cryolophosaurus identify each other.
Last Updated on 21/07/2022 by admin