Kryptops (Greek for "covered face"); pronounced CRIP-tops
Woodlands of northern Africa
Middle Cretaceous (110 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 25 feet long and 1,000-2,000 pounds
Small teeth; horny covering on face
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.