Cetiosaurus was a large sauropod from the Middle Jurassic Period. Its name means 'whale lizard'. It was named by Sir Richard Owen. It was initially thought to be an ancient crocodilian, and was though later proven not to be and included in the then new classification coined by the brilliant but flawed Owen, Dinosauria, named under the assumption it was not a Dinosaur. Its huge size was exciting to the Victorians - after all, this was the first ever Sauropod found and named. It lived where England is today, some 168 Million Years Ago. It grew to 16 metres and would have weighed 12 tons; the largest land animal ever that the early Paleontologists knew of, before larger Sauropods were found elsewhere in the world and even in Britain again (Brachiosaurids recently found on the Isle of Wight for instance) Cetiosaurus was a taste of things to come; truly titanic prehistoric animals for all to see and the experts to study. It is perhaps only the sixth Dinosaur ever to be named, after Megalosaurus (1st), Iguanodon (2nd) etc.
Cetiosaurus gives its name to the Cetiosauridae, which represent a relatively primitive Sauropod line, which is understandable considering their heyday was well within the Mid Jurassic. They are evolutionarily more advanced than the even earlier forms such as the Vulcanodontidae, but are certainly less advanced than the Diplodocids, Camarasaurids and Brachiosaurids.
Cetiosaurus was featured in the Jurassic Park Institute now available to browse on Dinopedia.
Jurassic Park inspired games
- Cetiosaurus is number 48 of the Herbivore Twos that can be created in the game Jurassic Park III: Park Builder.