Achelousaurus Dinosaur Facts

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Achelousaurus
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Achelousaurus



dinosaur picture achelousaurus

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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Ornithischia
  Suborder Cerapoda
  (unranked) Marginocephalia
  Infraorder Ceratopsia
  Family Ceratopsidae
  Subfamily Centrosaurinae
  Genus Achelousaurus
Achelousaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived in North America during the late Cretaceous period, between about 83 and 74 million years ago,

Achelousaurus was about 20 feet (6 meters) long, and weighed about 6 tons. Its skull alone (including the frill horns) was over 5 feet (1.6 meters) long.

Achelousaurus was discovered and named by Scott Sampson in 1995. He named the animal in reference to a river deity from ancient Greek myth - Achelous. Sampson choose the name "Achelousaurus" for two reasons:
  1. According to legend, Achelous's horns were torn off in a battle with Hercules. Similarly, when one examines Achelousaurus skulls, they give the appearance of missing horns (Achelousaurus skulls have rough bosses where other Ceratopsian dinosaurs have horns).

  2. Achelous was supposed gifted with a shape-shifting ability. Likewise, Achelosaurus has features which seem to combine and resemble those of other Ceratopsian dinosaurs.
Achelosaurus was discovered at the Two Medicine Formation in Montana in the western United States. So far (at the time of writing), three skulls as well as some other material have been found - all of which are located in the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.


Achelousaurus Timeline:

Achelousaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 83 to 74 million years ago

Achelousaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 83 to 74 million years ago

Related Information & Resources

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Achelousaurus Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Achelousaurus:
  1. Achelousaurus was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Achelousaurus" means "Achelous's lizard" - Achelous is a reference to a diety of Greek mythology who had one of his horns torn off by Hercules (Achelousaurus's skull looks like it is missing horns), and who also could shape-shift (Achelousaurus seems to combine features of other Ceratopsian dinosaurs).

  3. Achelousaurus was a member of the Ornithischia ("bird-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Achelousaurus was not closely related to birds, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Achelousaurus was a Ceratopsian - a member of a group of related herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaurs with beaks, many of which had neck frills and horns as well.

  5. Achelousaurus lived between about 83 million years ago and 74 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.

  6. Achelousaurus lived in North America.

  7. Achelousaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater).

  8. Achelousaurus was about 20 feet (6 meters) long.

  9. Achelousaurus weighed about 6 tons.

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