Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Cretaceous Dinosaurs: Kings of the Mesozoic’s Final Chapter

3D art of a large brown roaring Tyrannosaurus standing on a cliff with the moon and forests in the background

Source by:Daniel

They say that the best in the industry don’t share their trade secrets. But knowledge is always best when shared.

So here are two tips. When you make a product, you make it the best you can and base it on real life. Just like our fan-favorite dinosaur costumes. They’re based on awesome facts about the Cretaceous period dinosaurs.

brown and black dinosaur costume’s foot with three clawed toes

Source by: Durbed

What’s also encouraging is how fascinating the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period are. They were the dominant species in their heyday. They were the kings of the Mesozoic’s final chapter.

Here we introduce the amazing creatures we got inspired by. Discover 40 incredible species in two easy parts:

 

Are you in? Let’s go!

Late Cretaceous Dinosaurs

Carnotaurus was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur with horns on its head that lived in Cretaceous era South America. Here, one is depicted in a forest. 3D Rendering

Source by:Daniel

Let’s start with the Cretaceous dinosaurs that last saw the light before an asteroid hit the earth. They’re also the best-known species of the period because of the numerous fossils that have been discovered.

So say hello to long-necked gentle giants, frilled and horned leaf-eaters, together with carnivorous tyrants like the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Theropod Dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous

a t-rex fossil on display being observed by a group of people

Source by: Ryo Tanaka

Theropod Late Cretaceous dinosaurs are unique from others because of the three toes on their limbs and their hollow bones. They also had blade-like serrated teeth that supported their carnivorous lifestyle.

#1 Achillobator

graphic art of a gray feathered three-toed dinosaur

Source by: PaleoNeolitic

Feathers seem to be common among the Late Cretaceous dinosaurs’ fierce predators. The Achillobator was a feathered dromaeosaurid that hunted down prey using its sickle claw and heavily-built body.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Achilles hero
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Cenomanian

#2 Spinosaurus

a large brown dinosaur model with a sail-like crest on its back

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The Spinosaurus is the T. rex’s and Giganotosaurus’ aquatic contemporary when it comes to size. This huge meat-eater from the Late Cretaceous is estimated to have grown as large as 52 feet and weighed 16,600 lbs!

And mind you, this creature isn’t limited to the waters. Scientists have discovered that it went to shore too. You won’t want to mess with this one especially when you see a roaring Spinosaurus model on land!

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Spine lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: North Africa
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Turonian

#3 Tyrannosaurus

graphic art of a large long gray tyrannosaur

Source by: Steveoc 86

Did you know the T. rex can exert a bite force of 57,000 newtons? No wonder Cretaceous dinosaurs like hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and ankylosaurs were easy prey! They can be easily crushed in one swift bite by this apex predator.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Tyrant lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#4 Velociraptor

the basic information of a green velociraptor

Source by: Britannica

What do you think the Velociraptor used its famous sickle claw for? A study in PLOS ONE used a predation model called the “Raptor Prey Restraint” to understand how.

And the scientists discovered that this Cretaceous dinosaur probably used it to tightly grip prey. This dramatically reduced the animal’s movement, giving the Velociraptor the upper hand.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Swift seizer
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Campanian

Ceratopsian Dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous

large horned and frilled dinosaur skeleton on display at a museum

Source by: AgsftwDerivative: User:MathKnight

Ceratopsians are easily identified by the horns on their faces and the frills lining their skulls. And those frills are what’s always caught the imagination. 

Scientists believe these Late Cretaceous dinosaurs may have used them to regulate body temperature or to attract a mate. What do you think these were for? Try to take a guess as you learn more about them in the next section.

#5 Achelousaurus

a brown large horned dinosaur with a frill on its head

Source by: Mariana Ruiz

As fierce as this Cretaceous dinosaur’s face is, it’s actually a sociable creature. It’s a family-oriented dinosaur as its kind lived together in herds. The bone beds where its fossils were found showed only one type of species that proved the Achelosaurus did live in herds.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Achelous lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#6 Avaceratops

graphic art of two green-yellow frilled dinosaurs running beside each other

Source by: Mariana Ruiz Villarreal LadyofHats

Ceratopsians feed largely on cycads, ferns, and conifers just like the Avaceratops. The small Cretaceous dinosaurs lived in a thickly forested environment in what is now Montana’s Judith River Formation.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: in honor of Ava Cole
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Campanian

#7 Triceratops

large brown frilled dinosaur model with a horn on its face beside a small horned and frilled dinosaur on the grass

Source by: Marcel Kunkel

The Triceratops can tell you that leafy greens are good for you. It’s one of the largest Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, with some growing up to 30 feet and weighing 13 tons!

These dinosaurs were also strong enough to fend off an encounter with their arch-nemesis, the Tyrannosaurus. A Triceratops fossil has been found with healed bite marks from a Tyrannosaurus on it.

And that’s all thanks to the low-lying vegetation that they fed on. Incredible!

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Three horned-face
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#8 Torosaurus

illustration of two frilled brown dinosaurs with the right one having openings in its frill

Source by: Nobu Tamura

What’s the difference between ceratopsians? A unique detail is found between the Torosaurus and the Triceratops.

The Torosaurs’ long frill has very wide openings called fenestrae. Its frill also has more horns called epoccipitals compared to the Triceratops.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Perforated lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

Sauropod Dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous

low angle photo of a long-necked large dinosaur

Source by: Gary Todd

Did you know that there’s such a thing called tachymetabolic endothermy? This is when an animal’s metabolism is higher than usual compared to other creatures.

Scientists believe it’s one of the possible reasons why these gigantic dinosaurs with long necks (sauropods) grew so large. Now that sheds a little light on the mystery regarding dinosaur gigantism.

So here are four Late Cretaceous dinosaurs from their group who will be interesting to study further.

#9 Diamantinasaurus

green dinosaur with a long neck and small brown spikes

Source by: Mario Lanzas

Complete or even near-complete specimens are always a valuable find as it gives paleontologists a better picture of what Cretaceous dinosaur it was. The Diamantinasaurus is one such discovery as it’s Australia’s most complete sauropod from the Cretaceous at present.

The Diamantinasaurus was part of the titanosaurs, the last sauropod group to have walked the earth. But it’s small despite being a titanosaur. The Diamantinasaurus is believed to have reached heights of up to 52 feet only unlike other sauropods that grew to more than a hundred.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Diamantina lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Australia
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Turonian-Cenomanian

#10 Isisaurus

gray-black dinosaur with small thin spines on its back

Source by: DiBgd

Can you think of a prehistoric counterpart to the modern giraffe? If the Isisaurus is what first came to mind, then you’ve got it right!

The shape of this Late Cretaceous dinosaur’s neck and forelimbs are quite similar in appearance. But it’s also these very things that make it distinct from other long-necked dinosaurs that had longer necks, bodies, and tails.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: in honor of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: India
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#11 Paralititan

light gray long-necked dinosaur with black stripes

Source by: Dmitry Bogdanov

Titanosaurs really live up to their names. The Paralititan’s fossil was estimated to have towered at nearly 89 feet!

It’s a massive Cretaceous dinosaur that lived near mangroves. Its bones were found in a tidal flat together with seed ferns, vegetation that’s unique to mangroves.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Tidal Giant
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Egypt
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Cenomanian

#12 Saltasaurus

brown dinosaurs with brown bumps lining its back

Source by: LadyofHats Altered by Steveoc 86 and FunkMonk

Size was previously thought to have been saurpods’ main defense. But the discovery of the Saltasaurus’ osteoderms (body armor similar to crocodiles) caused paleontologists to take a second look. This discovery gives us a better idea of how massive Cretaceous dinosaurs protected themselves from swift predatory carnivores.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Lizard from Salta
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Argentina
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

Armored Dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous

large dinosaur skeleton with a horned face and beak-like snout on display

Source by: Gary Todd

Can you imagine armored dinosaurs and birds sharing similar physical features? They do, as out-of-this-world as it sounds.

Armored Cretaceous dinosaurs have pelvic bones that look like modern-day birds’. They also have beak-like mouths and horned faces.

Spot the similarities as you get to know them below.

#13 Ankylosaurus

brown and black dinosaur costume with yellow eyes

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The Ankylosaurus is one of the most easily recognized dinosaurs. You know it from its signature armored back, beaked mouth, and tail club.

It’s a super tank of a Cretaceous dinosaur, isn’t it? Scientists have long thought so too. They suggest that the Ankylosaur’s tail was used as a defensive weapon while the armor served as its coat of protection against predators and rivals.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Fused lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#14 Euoplocephalus

green armored dinosaur with gray spikes on its back

Source by: Nobu Tamura

Not all armored Cretaceous dinosaurs are the same. A good example is the Euoplocephalus.

It’s distinct from the Ankylosaurus because of the small bones over its eyes and the bones on its snout that aren’t covered by ossifications. Additionally, it possibly could run as fast as the modern rhino and hippo.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Well-armed head
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#15 Talarurus

brown armored dinosaur with gray spikes on its back

Source by: Jack Mayer Wood

Do you know that the shape of an armored Cretaceous dinosaurs’ beak showed what kind of herbivores they were? The Talarurus’ rectangle-shaped and wide snout was useful for picking up low-lying plants.

Its neighbor, the Tsagantegia, had different looks and a feeding style. It had a longer beak that’s shaped like a shovel which was useful for plants growing in higher places.

These physical differences showed that the Tsagantegia was a browser while the Talarurus was a grazer.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Basket tail
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Cenomanian

#16 Tarchia

large skull of a horned and beaked armored dinosaur on display

Source by: Radim Holiš

The brainy one from Mongolia got its name because paleontologists think its brain was larger than its neighbor ankylosaurid, the Saichania. On top of being brainy, this Cretaceous dinosaur may also be the longest ankylosaurid from Asia. It’s estimated to be as long as 26 feet.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Brainy one
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

Ornithopod Dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous

large skull of a helmet-headed dinosaur underneath a similar-shaped archway at a museum

Source by: Eduard Solà

Did you know these Late Cretaceous dinosaurs were one of the period’s most successful herbivores? What contributed greatly to their success was their ability to chew food.

Dinosaurs commonly can’t chew. But the simple ability to do so helped ornithopods eat more efficiently. This subsequently helped the dinosaurs absorb more nutrients from the plant matter which gave their bodies the strength to thrive in their environment.

Amazing, isn’t it? Let’s learn more about them below!

#17 Brachylophosaurus

graphic art of a brown short-crested dinosaur beside a blue human figure

Source by: Nobu Tamura

Looks familiar? You may have thought of the Parasaurolophus because the Brachylophosaurus shares a similar physical feature with the famous herbivore. They both have crests on their heads.

But the difference is that this Cretaceous dinosaur’s crest is short, flat, and shaped like a paddle. Its head was also smaller and had wider upper jaws.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Short-crested lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Campanian

#18 Pachycephalosaurus

dome-headed brown dinosaur models in a fighting scene in a forest

Source by:DinoTeam

The Pachycephalosaurus is an interesting Cretaceous dinosaur because of its dome-shaped head. Scientists suggest that it was used for headbutting during fights against rivaling Pachycephalosaurs as bighorn sheep do.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Thick-headed lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#19 Stegoceras

dome-headed brown dinosaur with feathers

Source by: FunkMonk

Here’s another dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous with a dome-shaped head. Some paleontologists believe the Stegoceras used the domes on their heads the same Pachycephalosaurs did — for headbutting during rival fights. Others think they’re for intimidating opponents and used flank-butting instead to inflict damage.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Horn-roof, strong
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Canada, USA
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Maastrichtian

#20 Weewarrasaurus

brown dinosaur puppet with blue streaks and black spots in front of a man wearing blue pants

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Have you ever heard of a fossil discovered in a gemstone? The Weewarrasaurus is one such dinosaur because part of its jawbone and teeth were found embedded in an opal. It’s believed to have lived alongside other kinds of dinosaurs like the iguanodontians.

Interesting, right? Teaching interesting Cretaceous dinosaurs to kids would be fun with a colorful dinosaur hand-puppet. This way you can bring the rare find of the Weewarrasaurus to life!

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: in recognition of the geologic locality where it was found, Wee Warra
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Australia
  • Late Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Cenomanian

Early Cretaceous Dinosaurs

An Altirhinus in a dense forest. Altirhinus (high snout) was a type of iguanodon dinosaur of the early Cretaceous period in Mongolia. 3D Rendering

Source by: Daniel

Now let’s take a look at the beginning. The Early Cretaceous dinosaurs were species who survived the Late Jurassic period like the Supersaurus.

New dinosaurs showed up too. Species like ceratopsians and spinosaurids began to appear during the Early Cretaceous. It was also during this time that small new theropods began to thrive.

Curious about this bunch? Find out who they are in the next section.

Theropod Dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous

skeleton of a medium-sized T.rex-like dinosaur on display

Source by: Jaren Wilkey

There were four kinds of theropods that survived the Jurassic and welcomed the beginning of the Cretaceous period. These Early Cretaceous dinosaurs were the:

  • Ceratosaurs – dinosaurs whose common ancestor is closer to the Ceratosaur than birds
  • Allosaurs – dinosaurs who were the apex predators from the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous
  • Megalosaurs – the first dinosaurs that were large theropods
  • Coelurosaurs – hollow-tailed lizards that were more closely related to birds than Carnosaurs

All of them survived to the end of the era except for the megalosaurs. Check out these tough predators as you scroll down.

#21 Acrocanthosaurus

graphic art of a blue-striped yellow dinosaur

Source by: Mariolanzas

The Acrocanthosaurus belonged to a group of apex predators called the Carcharodontosauridae. Studies say that these Early Cretaceous dinosaurs most likely captured prey using their mouths and subdued them with their strong muscular forelimbs.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: High-spined lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian-Albian

#22 Concavenator

graphic art of a yellow dinosaur with a small pointed crest on its back

Source by: Mario Lanzas

Concavenators are fearsome predators hailing from Spain. They’re famous for the tall pointed crest on their backs. Paleontologists believe the Early Cretaceous dinosaurs used it for visual display or thermoregulation.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Cuenca hunter with a hump
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: Spain
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Barremian

#23 Deinonychus

graphic art of a gray-feathered dinosaur

Source by: Fred Wierum

The terrible claw of Montana and Wyoming was a terrible predator of dinosaurs larger than itself. How?

The Deinonychus was a coelurosaur that possibly found strength in numbers. Scientists who’ve studied this Cretaceous dinosaur suggest that this species hunted Tenontosaurus in packs.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Terrible claw
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian-Albian

#24 Utahraptor

graphic art of a gray-striped yellow dinosaur with feathers on its tail

Source by: Emily Willoughby

The Utahraptor’s uniqueness lies in its ability to deliver deadly kicks with its foot-claw. The large claw helped this Cretaceous dinosaur hunt large herbivores like Iguanodonts and Therizinosaurs.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Utah’s predator
  • Dino Diet Type: Carnivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Barremian

Ceratopsian Dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous

fossil of a beaked dinosaur with triangle-shaped bones on the sides of its head

Source by: Mos.ru, CC BY 4.0

Did you know Ceratopsians are just like Pokemon in how their “basic forms” start small? These Early Cretaceous dinosaurs began as small bipedal creatures. It was only during the Late Cretaceous that they grew larger.

Come on and let’s check out cute little dinosaurs that lived 145 million years ago.

#25 Aquilops

graphic art of a beaked dinosaur with small spikes on its leathery orange skin

Source by: Brian Engh

The Aquilops were small herbivores discovered in 1997 in Montana. It wasn’t just the usual discovery because these Cretaceous dinosaurs are representative of America’s first basal neoceratopsians.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Eagle face
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian

#26 Archaeoceratops

a colorful archaeoceratops

Source by: Wikipedia

This adorable Cretaceous dinosaur didn’t have a horn on its face, unlike other ceratopsians. But it did have a beak just like them. The Arcaheoceratops used its beak to pick cycads and ferns when it was hungry.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Ancient horned face
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian

#27 Auroraceratops

graphic art of a small green beaked dinosaur with a subtle frill on its head

Source by: Nobu Tamura

What a pretty name, right? The Auroraceratops got its name for being a basal ceratopsian and in honor of the wife of the scientist who described it.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Dawn horned face
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: China, Korea
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian

#28 Koreaceratops

a beaked and frilled dinosaur swimming underwater

Source by: Nobu Tamura

Have you ever heard of an aquatic frilled and beaked Cretaceous dinosaur? The Koreaceratops may just be one as the scientists who described this genus discovered neural spines on its tail.

They suggest that it may have been used for swimming. But others in the scientific community believe it may be for species recognition or display instead.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Korea horned face
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Korea
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian

Sauropod Dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous

long-necked dinosaurs standing on a short platform outside a building

Source by: GKNOVA6

Early Cretaceous dinosaurs, like the sauropods, were fond of each other’s company. A good example is their ancient set of footprints found in Spain.

The discovery showed that these animals lived in herds. Let’s walk together with the long-necked giants of the Early Cretaceous, shall we?

#29 Cedarosaurus

a brown long-necked dinosaur

Source by: Slate Weasel

Can you imagine rocks inside your body? We couldn’t but dinosaurs could. It just might be part of a normal day in the Cedarosaurus’ digestive system. How?

Gastroliths associated with the Cedarosaurus were studied by paleontologist Frank Sanders. He and his team found that the Cretaceous dinosaur may have eaten stones it found which then helped break down the plants it ate.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Cedar lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Valanginian

#30 Euhelopus

a dark green long-necked dinosaur

Source by: DiBgd

There are a lot of firsts in the Early Cretaceous. The Euhelopus was the first sauropod studied from China. It’s also important because it looked different from other sauropods at the time of its discovery (1913) because its forelegs were longer than its hind legs.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: True marsh-foot
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: China
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Berriasian-Valanginian

#31 Pelorosaurus

a black and white long-necked dinosaur

Source by: Levi bernardo

The name the Pelorosaurus carries was one of the first instances it’s ever been given to a long-necked dinosaur. It isn’t hard to imagine why it’s called a monstrous lizard because the Pelorosaurus is estimated to be 79 feet long.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Monstrous lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: England, Portugal
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Berriasian

#32 Sonorasaurus

a grey long-necked dinosaur

Source by: Dmitry Bogdanov

Did you know Arizona has an official state dinosaur? And yup! It’s the brachiosaurus-like Sonorasaurus. This Cretaceous dinosaur was found in southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert in 1994.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Sonora lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian-Cenomanian

Armored Dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous

skeleton of an armored dinosaur with spikes on its back

Source by: Kabacchi

Did you know that some armored Early Cretaceous dinosaurs didn’t have clubs on their tails? Their tails had flexible tips instead. Additionally, some of them even had spikes on their shoulders.

Cool, right? They’re from a family of dinosaurs called the Nodosauridae. Let’s get to know more about them!

#33 Peloroplites

an armored dinosaur’s skeleton with side spikes displayed on a gray platform

Source by: Jens Lallensack

The Peloroplites was a toughie. This Cretaceous dinosaur’s one of the biggest nodosaurids known to mankind. It’s estimated to have grown up to 18 feet long. It had big teeth and a strongly shaped jaw too, leading scientists to see that the Peloroplites fed on tough vegetation.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Monster armored soldier
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian

#34 Polacanthus

graphic art of a black armored dinosaur with a shield-like sheet on its hips

Source by: FunkMonk

Spikes and armored plates at the same time? You bet! The Polcanthus sports them both. It even has a shield-like sheet over its hips that’s unique to itself and its relatives like the Gastonia.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Many thorned
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: England
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Barremian

#35 Propanoplosaurus

graphic art of a brown dinosaur with armor-like features on its head only

Source by: Conty

The Propanoplosaurus was a dino toddler when it was discovered. The Cretaceous dinosaur’s fossil was only around 13 cm when it was found. Osteoderms were also only on its head. In addition, the Propanoplosaurus was the first nodosaur unearthed from the US’ East Coast (Maryland).

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Before Panoplosaurus (completely armored lizard)
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian

#36 Sauropelta

sketch of an armored dinosaur with two long spines projecting from its neck

Source by: John.Conway

What’s as tough as a dinosaur and weighs just like a black rhinoceros? It’s the Sauropelta! This armored dinosaur weighed as heavy as 3,300 lbs when it was alive. And it’s all thanks to its impressive back armor and large neck spines.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Lizard shield
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: USA
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian

Ornithopod Dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous

skeleton of a three-toed large dinosaur set in rocks on display at a museum

Source by: N.Cayla

Like many Early Cretaceous dinosaurs, the early ornithopods were small and fast. But some of them were more largely built like the Iguanodon.

It’s a pretty diverse group that’s interesting to study. Let’s dig into their dino details together!

#37 Iguanodon

some iguanodons are drinking water beside the river

Source by: Worldatlas

Have you ever noticed the thumb spike on the Iguanodon’s hand? Surprising, isn’t it? This thumb spike is believed to have been used as a defensive weapon against predators and as means to break fruits and seeds the Iguanodon ate.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Iguana-tooth
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Belgium, England, Germany, Spain
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Barremian

#38 Leaellynasaura

graphic art of a small but long green dinosaur

Source by: Nobu Tamura

The Leaellynasaura is a good example of early ornithopods that were small and fast. But the paleontologist who discovered it was quick to highlight its long tail.

That’s because the Leallyellynasaura’s tail is one of the longest ones in proportion to the size of its body. It measures three times longer all in all.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Leaellyn’s lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Australia
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Albian

#39 Mantellisaurus

graphic art of a gray dinosaur with black stripes walking on two legs

Source by: I,Steveoc 86

What’s the difference between the similar-looking Mantellusaurus from the Iguanodon? The Mantellisaurus more likely walked on its two legs than all fours because of its shorter body and forelimbs. This is unlike the Iguanodon that could walk either as a biped or a quadruped.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: Mantell’s lizard
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Belgium, England, Germany, Spain
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Barremian

#40 Qantassaurus

hand puppet of a yellow-bodied dinosaur with big eyes, green streaks, and black stripes

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

The Qantassaurus was a Cretaceous dinosaur and a polar dinosaur at the same time. That means it lived during the time Australia was still part of Gondwana which was located near the Antarctic Circle.

It lived in a cool environment which had temperatures going between -6 to 5°C only. But paleontologists suggest that its bone structure helped it survive its conditions.

Quick Dino Details

  • Name’s Definition: in honor of Qantas (acronym of an Australian airline: Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services)
  • Dino Diet Type: Herbivore
  • Habitat: Australia
  • Early Cretaceous Faunal Stage: Aptian

The Last Dinosaurs Standing: Cretaceous Dinosaurs

a brown T. rex standing in a field of plants with a bright light on the right

Source by: Photobank

How did you like the Cretaceous dinosaurs we introduced to you in this article? They were diverse and unique creatures that lived 145-66 million years ago. They lived at a time when the world thrived with a warmer climate and was abundant with chalk, flowering plants, and other vegetation.

More importantly, they were the last dinosaurs standing before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. It’s one of the things the Cretaceous period is known for. It was when around 80% of all life suddenly died and marked the end of the dinosaur’s existence.

some dinosaurs are wandering on the ground

Source by: National Geographic

But thankfully, the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period are still alive through the fossils they left behind. We can enjoy them at museums, exhibits, and at dino-themed events.

There are so many ways to keep them alive. You can even do it yourself through lifelike dinosaur costumes.

However, you choose to enjoy dinosaurs, go for it! Have fun!

Share to:

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply