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Kryptops

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kryptops

Kryptops (Sergey Krasovskiy)

Name:

Kryptops (Greek for "covered face"); pronounced CRIP-tops

Habitat:

Woodlands of northern Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (110 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and 1,000-2,000 pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small teeth; horny covering on face

About Kryptops:

Discovered in 2008 by the globe-trotting paleontologist Paul Sereno, Kryptops is a rare example of a north African theropod (technically, an abelisaur) from the middle Cretaceous period. This dinosaur wasn't especially big, "only" about 25 feet long, but it stood out for the weird, horny skin that seemed to have covered its face (this coating was probably made of keratin, the same stuff as human fingernails). Despite its fearsome appearance, Kryptops' relatively short, blunt teeth point to its having been a scavenger rather than an active hunter.
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