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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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Ca Ce to Cf Ch Ci to Cl Co Cr to Cy

CAENAGNATHUS
(pronounced SEE-nag-NAY-thus) Caenagnathus (meaning "recent jaw") was a light-weight, bipedal, meat-eating theropod dinosaur. This coelurosaur dates from the late Cretaceous, about 75 million years ago. This predator was about 6.5 ft (2 m) long and weighed roughly 35 kg. Only a fossilized lower jaw was found in western North America. This genus was named by paleontologist R. Sternberg in 1940. The type species is C. collinsi. It was originally thought to be a bird.
CALAMOSPONDYLUS
(pronounced KAL-uh-moe-SPON-dill-us) Calamospondylus (meaning "reed vertebra") was a bipedal, meat-eating theropod dinosaur with large hand claws. This coelurosaur dates from the early Cretaceous, about 125 million years ago. This predator was about 6.5 ft (2 m) long, weighing about 65 pounds (30 kg). It is known from fossils found in England. This (dubious) genus was named by paleontologist Lydekker in 1889. The type species is C. foxi.

CALIFORNOSAURUS

Californosaurus, meaning "California lizard" was an Ichthyosaur, an extinct water-dwelling reptile that lived during the time of the dinosars. Californosaurus (also called Toretocnemus, Delphinosaurus) was 10 feet (3 m) long. It had four paddle-shaped flippers and sharp teeth in long, pointed jaws (looking a bit like a dolphin). This fish-eater lived during the late Triassic period in seas that covered what is now California. Californosaurus was named by Kuhn in 1934. It was not a dinosaur, but another type of extinct reptile.
CALLOVOSAURUS
Callovosaurus (meaning "Callovian [the name of a mid-Jurassic period] lizard") was an iguanodontid, an ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaur dating from the middle Jurassic period, about 166 million years ago. This plant-eater was about 11.5 ft (3.5 m) long, weighing about 550 pounds (250 kg). Callovosaurus is known from fragmentary fossils found in Oxford, England. This (dubious) genus was named by paleontologist Galton in 1980. The type species is C. leedsi.

CAMARASAURUS

(pronounced KAM-ah-rah-SAWR-us) Camarasaurus (meaning "chamber vertebra") was a large, long-necked plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period, about 156-145 million years ago. This sauropod was about 60 ft (18 m) long and weighed roughly 28000 kg. The type species is C. supremus.
CAMBRIAN PERIOD
The Cambrian period, also called "The Age of Trilobites," was a geological time period that lasted from about 540 to 500 million years ago. The Cambrian preceded the time of the dinosaurs by hundreds of millions of years. This was a time in which all the existing phyla evolved (this is called the Cambrian Explosion of life)! The Cambrian ended in a mass extinction in which 50 percent of all animal familes (includeing trilobites) went extinct. The Cambrian period is named by Adam Sedgwick for the Cambrian Mountains in Wales, where he studied ancient rock layers.

CAMPANIAN AGE

The Campanian Age was the last part of the Cretaceous period, about 83 to 71 million years ago, towards the end of the Mesozoic Era (and just after the Santonian Age and just before the Maastrichtian Age).
CAMELOTIA
(pronounced kam-eh-LOH-tee-ah) Camelotia (named for legendary Camelot) was a prosauropod dinosaur. This plant-eater had a small head, a bulky body, and dates from the late Triassic period, about 219-213 million years ago. Camelotia was about 30 ft (9 m) long and weighed roughly 3270 kg. Its femur (thigh bone) was 95 cm long. A partial fossil was found in England. This genus was named by paleontologist Galton in 1985. The type species is C. borealis.
CAMOUFLAGE
The disguising of a person, animal or thing so that it looks like its surroundings.

CAMPTONOTUS

(pronounced KAMP-toe-NOTE-us) Camptonotus (meaning "flexible back") is an invalid name for Camptosaurus. It was named by Marsh in 1879.

CAMPTOSAURUS

(pronounced KAMP-toe-SAWR-us) Camptosaurus (meaning "bent lizard") was a plant-eater from the late Jurassic period (about 156 to 145 million years ago) that looked a lot like Iguanodon. It was a heavy ornithischian dinosaur that was about 16-23 feet (5-7 m) long, weighing roughly 1000 kg. It had a long snout, hundreds of teeth and a horny beak, and longer legs than arms. It could walk on two or four legs. The type species is C. dispar. Camptosaurus was named by Marsh in 1885.
CAMPYLODONISCUS
(pronounced cam-PIL-o-do-NIS-kus) Campylodoniscus (meaning "little bent tooth") was a long-necked, quadrupedal, sauropod dinosaur. This plant-eating titanosaur dates from the late Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago. Campylodoniscus was about 65 ft (20 m) long and weighed about 15,000 kg. It is known from scanty fossils found in Argentina, South America. Campylodoniscus was named by paleontologist Kuhn in 1961 (and replaces von Huene's Campylodon). The type species is C. ameghinoi.
CAMPYLOGNATHOIDES
Campylognathoides was a pterosaur, a flying reptile, from the early Jurassic period. This carnivore was not a dinosaur, but was a closely related reptile. Campylognathoides had a wingspan of 20 feet (6 m). It had a long tail with a diamond-shaped flap at the end and long jaws with many sharp teeth. Campylognathoides was named by Strand in 1928. Fossils have been found in Germany and India. (Classification: Order Pterosauria, Suborder Phamphorhynchoidea)
CAPTORHINIDS
Captorhinids (or Cotylosaurs) are "stem reptiles," primitive anapsids that led to the reptiles (including dinosaurs and turtles), birds, and mammals. They evolved from amphibians during the Early Carboniferous period, about 340 million years ago and went extinct at the end of the Triassic period, about 250 million years ago. They had four sprawling legs and a long tail. Class Sauropsida, subclass Anapsida, Infraclass Captorhinida.
CARBONIFEROUS
The Carboniferous was a geological time period (lasting from 360 to 280 million years ago) during which there were wide-spread coal swamps on Earth, foraminiferans, corals, bryozoans, brachiopods, blastoids, seed ferns, lycopsids, and other plants. Amphibians become more common. The Carboniferous was during the middle-to-late Paleozoic Era and is divided into the Pennsylvanian Period ( 325 to 280 million years ago) and the Mississippian Period (360 to 325 million years ago).

CARCHARODON MEGALODON

Carcharodon/Carcharocles megalodon was an ancient shark, living between 5-1.6 million years ago; it is extinct. It may have been up to 40 feet (12 m) long.

CARCHARODONTOSAURUS

(pronounced kahr-KAR-o-DONT-o-SAWR-us) Carcharodontosaurus (meaning "shark-tooth lizard") was a huge meat eater (45 feet or 14 m long, weighing roughly 4000 kg) from the Cretaceous period, 110-90 million years ago. This African carnosaur was larger than T. rex. The type species is C. saharicus.

CARDIOCEPHALUS

(pronounced CAR-dee-oh-CEFF-ah-lus) Cardiocephalus (meaning "heart head") was an early lesospondyl amphibian from the middle Permian period. This microsaur had a heart-shaped head, four short legs, a long tail, a long body, and a lizard-like appearance.

CARDIODON

(pronounced CAR-dee-oh-don) Cardiodon (meaning "heart tooth") is doubtful genus if dinosaur known from a single, heart-shaped tooth found in England. The tooth dates from the middle Jurassic period, about 170 million years ago. Cardiodon, a large plant eater, was a cetiosaurid sauropod, was named by paleontologist Richard Owen in 1841. The type species is C. rugulosus. Cardiodon may be the same as Cetiosaurus.

CARMELOPODUS

Carmelopodus is a theropod dinosaur known only from its fossilized trackways. This bipedal, meat-eating ichnogenus lived in during the middle Jurassic period in what is now the Carmel formation in eastern Utah, USA and England (supporting the theory of continental drift).


CARNIVORE

Carnivores are animals that eat meat. They usually have sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

CARNOSAUR

(pronounced KAR-no-SAWR) Carnosaurs (meaning "flesh lizards") were large theropods (meat-eating dinosaurs) that lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Allosaurus and Sinraptor were carnosaurs. These saurischians are a groups of dinosaurs thatare part of the group tetanurae, defined as closer to allosaur than to birds.

CARNOSAURUS

(pronounced KAR-no-SAWR-us) Carnosaurus (meaning "flesh lizard") is a misspelling of Carnotaurus. Carnosaurus was named by paleontologist von Huene in 1929, from fragmentary fossil remains of a large theropod dinosaur. Carnosaurus is a nomen nudum (published without a proper or complete description); Carnosaurus is not a recognized dinosaur genus.

CARNOTAURUS

(pronounced KAR-no-TAWR-us) Carnotaurus (meaning "flesh-eating bull") was an unusual-looking theropod dinosaur that was about 25 feet (7.5 m) long, weighing about 1 ton (1000 kg). This meat-eater had brow-horns (hence its name), extremely tiny arms (even smaller than those of Tyrannosaurids), and a long, thin tail. It may have had partial binocular vision (unlike most other dinosaurs) since the eyes were set facing slightly forwards. Carnotaurus lived during the Cretaceous period, about 113 to 91 million years ago. Its almost complete fossilized skeleton, together with skin impressions (that reveal rows of bumps on rough skin), have been found in Patagonia, South America. It was named by paleontologist J. Bonaparte in 1985. The type species is C. sastrei.

CARPALS

Carpals are the wrist bones.

CARPENTER, KENNETH

Kenneth Carpenter (1949 - ) is a paleontologist who is director of the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah, USA. (Carpenter previously worked at the Denver Museum of Natural History in Denver, Colorado, USA.) Carpenter, Bryan Small, and Tim Seeber found the most complete Stegosaurus yet found in 1992, near Canon City, Colorado, USA. Carpenter named the dinosaurs Animantarx (Carpenter, Kirkland, Burge, and Bird, 1999), Cedarosaurus (Tidwell, Carpenter and Brooks, 1999), Gargoyleosaurus (Carpenter, Miles, and Cloward, 1998), Gojirasaurus (Carpenter, 1997), Maleevosaurus (Carpenter, 1992), Mymoorapelta (Kirkland and Carpenter, 1994), Niobrarasaurus (Carpenter, Dilkes, and Weishampel, 1995), Pectinodon (Carpenter, 1982). Carpenter has written many books on dinosaurs, including "Dinosaur Systematics," "Dinosaur Eggs and Babies," "The Dinosaurs of Marsh and Cope," and "The Morrison Formation - an Interdisciplinary Study."

CASEA

Casea was a small, sail-less pelycosaur that lived during the early Permian period. It looked like a fat lizard; it had 4 short, sprawling legs, a long tail, a small head, a bulky body, a huge rib cage, and a large gut (needed to digest its food). This plant-eater ate tough plants, like horsetails and ferns. It had no teeth in its lower jaw, but had thick, peg-like teeth in the upper jaw. It also had small teeth on the palate itself (the roof of the mouth). Casea was about 4 feet (1.2 m) and may have weighed over 1,300 pounds (600 kg). Fossils of this synapsid have been found in France and the USA (Texas).

CASINERIA

Casineria kiddi, (meaning "Cheese Bay" named for the Scotish Bay where the fossil was found) a newly found reptile from Scotland, may be the oldest reptile. This 8 inch (20.5 cm) long quadruped dates from about 340 million years ago. Most of its length was in its 5 inch (13 cm) long tail. This tiny reptile had five fingers on each hand.


CATHETOSAURUS

(pronounced ca-THEE-toh-SAWR-us) Cathetosaurus (meaning "upright lizard") was a large, long-necked, quadrupedal, plant-eating dinosaur. This sauropod dates from the late Jurassic period, about 156-145 million years ago. Its pelvic structure perhaps indicates that it could rear on its hind legs to eat leaves high in the trees (hence its name). This pelvis also has huge teeth marks in it (probably a theropod dinosaur that scavenged the carcass). Cathetosaurus is known only from scanty fossils found in Colorado, USA. It was named by paleontologist Jensen in 1988. The type species is C. lewisi. Cathetosaurus is a doubtful genus and may be the same as Camarasaurus.

CAUDAL

Caudal means of, near, or from the tail.

CAUDAL VERTEBRAE

Caudal vertebrae are the vertebrae in the tail - the tail bones.
CAUDIPTERYX zoui
(pronounced caw-DIP-ter-iks) Caudipteryx (meaning "tail feather") was a 3 feet (1 m) tall, feathered theropod dinosaur found in the sediment of an ancient lake bed in China's Liaoning Province. It lived during the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous periods (about 120 to 136 million years ago) and had asymmetrical feathers, indicating that it did not fly. The feathers were probably for insulation. Caudipteryx did not have a long tail like other theropod dinosaurs, but did have a generous tail fan of feathers up to 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) long. Caudipteryx may be the closest-known ancestor of birds.

CAVE LION

The cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea) was probably the biggest lion that ever lived. It was 25 percent bigger than lions today and was up to about 11.5 ft (3.5 m) long. This subspecies of lion lived in Europe (as far north as Denmark) until historical times; the last of these huge mammals lived until about 2,000 years ago in the Balkans (southeastern Europe). There are cave drawing of this huge feline. It probably hunted in a manner similar to that of today's lions.

Ca
Ca Ce to Cf Ch Ci to Cl Co Cr to Cy

ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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