Temporal range: Early Jurassic
Hammer & Hickerson, 1994
The name Cryolophosaurus means "cold crested lizard." The characteristic feature of this dinosaur is the large crest on the top of the skull, above the eyes. The nasal bones extend toward the back of the skull as ridges, and then join with the lacrimal bones to form a grooved crest which extends perpendicularly from the skull. Cryolophosaurus was discovered in the Jurassic Hanson Formation in the Transantarctic Mountains and represents the only theropod dinosaur to be found in Antarctica.
The dinosaur was discovered by Dr. William Hammer during a 1990-91 expedition. Dr. Hammer is a professor of geology at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois where a cast of Cryolophosaurus currently resides. The find of this dinosaur was significant because it proves that the dinosaurs lived on all of the continents and that high latitude climates were tolerated by dinosaurs. Cryolophosaurus is also of significance because it represents the oldest known tetanuran from any continent- it is the only one from the Early Jurassic.