As the cool breeze brushed through the forest, the animals shuddered. They had a pretty warm time this summer, but as the seasons changed, Antarctica, as we call it today, slowly got colder and colder. A small mammal scuttered on the forest floor, but before it could crawl into a hole in a fallen tree trunk, a large mouth picked it up. With one gulp, the mammal was sent down its throat, and the Cryolophosaurus looked around, hoping to find more food. Winter is never easy to survive.
The Cryolophosaurus lived in Antarctica during the early Jurassic, around 194 to 188 million years ago. They can grow to 7 meters in length, 2 meters in height and 500 kilograms in weight. Antarctica was extremely cold for creatures to live in even back in the Jurassic, as dinosaurs are not exactly well adapted to cold weather, one might wonder how they survived on the continent. The truth is, warm sea currents exists around the coasts of Antarctica, which may bring warmer weather along the coast and a few kilometres in, thus creating a habitable region for dinosaurs to thrive in.
Its size is truly huge for its time and location. Early Jurassic is a period of time when dinosaurs are still growing to be bigger, so Cryolophosaurus would be the apex predator of the time. Antarctica at the time was a lot warmer, as it was much close to the equator, but still a good distance off. That means that the temperature in winter will be pretty cold. In cold regions, animals tend to either reduce size or have a way of preserving energy. Many creatures were smaller than their cousins there. Such as a Dimorphodontid, a small pterosaur no larger than a modern raven. So Cryolophosaurus being so big means it must have been a successful creature.
The Cryolophosaurus have an interesting crest on its forehead. The Crest is not like other ones that stretch all the way to the back of the head. Instead, it curls up towards the sky. This crazy “hairstyle” gave the Cryolophosaurus the nickname ‘Elvisaurus’, as the crest’s shape looks like the singer Elvis’ hair. Both of them were the top of its time and left a lasting legacy, for us to study and learn from.