Last time we talked about Achillobator – a fierce carnivore raptor. Today we will learn about Acristavus which used to be a harmless plant-eater. Acristavus is important for scientists because of its unusual appearance. Actually, Acristavus marked the discovery of a new genus of hadrosaur dinosaurs that were known for their extremely elegant skull formations. So, let us learn some interesting Acristavus Facts and find out why this particular species is so important.
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At a glance
Lived: 80 million years ago.
Species: A. gagslarsoni.
1. Acristavus is a Greek name that in English means non-crested ancestor. Acristavus is pronounced as ack-riss-TAY-vuss.
2. The remains of this species were discovered in Utah’s Wahweap Formation and Montana’s Campanian Two Medicine Formation.
3. Acristavus lived some 80 million years ago or the Late Cretaceous period.
4. The species fed on plants and the full-grown adults were about 2 tons in weight. Adults could grow up to 20 feet in length.
5. Acristavus was a quadruped dinosaur, i.e. it walked on four legs. However, the species occasionally walked on two legs.
6. The species lived in areas which included rivers flowing east, floodplains and lakes. The climate used to be wet and seasonal.
7. Despite the fact that Acristavus belonged to hadrosaur family, this particular species did not have skull ornamentation as found in other dinosaurs from hadrosaur family such as Lambeosaurus and Parasaurolophus.
8. Because Acristavus did not have any skull ornamentation, it is likely a candidate of basal genus.
9. It is very likely that the duck-billed dinosaurs evolved from Acristavus. The reason why this is being believed is that Acristavus lived millions of years before the hadrosaurs with wonderful skull formations evolved.
10. There is yet another theory which says that there were crested dinosaurs that lived on earth millions of years before Acristavus and hence, Acristavus actually de-evolved from them. This however is not a very popular theory because fossil remains of crested dinosaurs before Acristavus have not yet been discovered.