Proceratosaurus bradleyi (S/F)

Proceratosaurus, meaning “before Ceratosaurus,” is a small proceratosaurid theropod which was discovered in 1910 in the White Limestone Formation of Gloucestershire, England, and was described by Arthur Smith Woodward in 1926 and later by Friedrich von Huene in the 1930s. Proceratosaurus lived during the Middle Jurassic period some 168 to 165 million years ago, during the Bathonian age. The only known species is Proceratosaurus bradleyi, named for F. Lewis Bradley of the Geological Society of London. It was originally believed to be an ancestor of Ceratosaurus due to a possible nasal horn on Proceratosaurus. However, revisions in the early 21st century by Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. including a phylogenetic study in 2004 and a later major review in 2010 reclassified it. Today, it is known to be a primitive tyrannosauroid, meaning it is more closely related to Tyrannosaurus than Ceratosaurus. Along with the relatively well-known Guanlong and Yutyrannus, as well as several more obscure genera, it is now classified in the family Proceratosauridae. The dinosaur is known only from its skull, which was found at Minchinhampton, England during the excavation of a reservoir.

International Genetic Technologies, Inc. recovered and successfully identified DNA of Proceratosaurus sometime prior to 1993, but was unable to clone any specimens before the incident. During the 1995 evacuation of Isla Sorna prior to Hurricane Clarissa, InGen personnel lost all Proceratosaurus samples. No DNA of this species has been recovered since, as samples left on Isla Nublar were lost due to sabotage and water damage.

Proceratosaurus in Jurassic World: Evolution

Fossils of this species are limited to a single partial skull, and no specimens have ever been cloned in the film canon, so little about its anatomy is known for sure. Aside from using its close relatives for estimation, the best source for canon information about what this animal looks like in the films comes from the Jurassic World: Evolution games. Here, it is said to reach lengths of 13.2 feet (4.01 meters) and stand up to 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) tall, with adults weighing around 88.2 pounds (40 kilograms). Some paleontologists suggest other sizes; estimations of eleven-foot-long (3.5 meters) animals are not uncommon but are around the larger end of the scale, while some weight estimates are higher than those given in the game, reaching one hundred pounds (45 kilograms). In any case, however, this is clearly a lightweight animal, a biped with a narrow, slender frame.

Proceratosaurus in Jurassic World: Evolution 2, with an updated color pattern

The head is not very wide, but is armed with scissor-like jaws and sharp, serrated teeth. Although it is not as bulky as the tyrannosaurs of the later Cretaceous period, it is already a capable predator, with keen senses including scent and sight. Its eyes are large and round, with vertical slit pupils that aid it in judging the distance to prey items among vertically-oriented foliage, and it has binocular vision. The most impressive aspect of its head, of course, is its crest; while earlier discoveries led scientists to believe it possessed a nasal horn similar to that of Ceratosaurus, newer research has indicated that it actually has a much larger sagittal crest like that of other early tyrannosauroids such as Guanlong. Many of the InGen-made images for this animal’s housing in Jurassic Park depicted its skull with a nasal horn, as was suspected at the time (in fact, this depiction is still the dinosaur’s official franchise icon), but if it is cloned in Jurassic World: Evolution, it can be seen instead to have a large, narrow crest which rises from the entire length of the skull.

Two Proceratosaurus in combat

A long and slender neck connects its head to equally narrow shoulders. Likewise, its body is gracile in form, but quite muscular despite how skinny it is. The arms and legs are strong; each hand possesses three clawed digits, and its arms are a little shorter than human arms. Each claw is short but thick and ends with a sharp point; while smaller, they greatly resemble the claws of later tyrannosauroids. In this earlier, more gangly animal, the arms are far more functional and can be used to grapple with prey. Its legs are also very strong and suited for fast chases, both to pursue food and run away from danger, or for kicking at rivals during intraspecific combat. Like others of its kind, it has a long, tapering tail that is used to counterbalance while it runs.

Proceratosaurus using its narrow jaws and long neck to scavenge from a carcass

Because all genetic samples were lost, the canon coloration of Proceratosaurus is unknown. In the Jurassic World: Evolution games, its natural coloration is depicted as light blue, with some darker striping along its back in later depictions, and mild countershading. The crest, as a display feature, is naturally more brightly colored; it is vivid red-orange, though like all other de-extinct animals in these games, the color expressed can be altered through genetic modification. The body is covered in very small rounded scales, except for the crest, which has a keratinous covering; in prehistory the animal was likely feathered. Curiously, a feathered reconstruction appears in L/M canon, but here it is shown with a nasal horn rather than a sagittal crest in a reversal of its Jurassic World: Evolution depiction.


While its later descendants’ growth process is fairly well documented, this animal’s physiology is known from a single incomplete fossil skull, the exact growth stage of which is not known.

Sexual Dimorphism

While sexual dimorphism is well-documented in this animal’s later descendants, its physiology is only known from a single incomplete fossil skull. The sex of the fossil animal has not been determined, though male tyrannosaurs often have more vibrant display features than females.

Preferred Habitat

The only known Proceratosaurus fossil was recovered from the White Limestone Formation, which is believed to have supported a forested region. Coastlines were likely nearby, due to the geography of the time period and location, offering another source of food for this carnivore. Of course, in order for fossil-bearing sedimentary rock to form, a source of water must have been present; needing water to survive like all animals, this dinosaur likely inhabited areas near rivers or lakes.

Proceratosaurus investigating a coastal rock pool.

Dinosaur fossils in this area are relatively few, but sauropod tracks have been reported, suggesting the presence of a productive ecosystem. The remains of early mammals have also been found here, which probably represent the prey items that Proceratosaurus fed on. Naturally, in order to survive, it needs to live in ecosystems where the animals it eats may be found in sufficient numbers.

Muertes Archipelago

During the evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Clarissa in 1995, InGen personnel removed DNA samples from Site B for safekeeping. However, for unknown reasons, all Proceratosaurus samples were lost during the evacuation. As a result, all known Proceratosaurus DNA has been irretrievably lost.

Isla Nublar
Last known image of Proceratosaurus specimen on Isla Nublar, 6/11/1993. All specimens following this were lost due to sabotage, environmental damage, and eventually unknown circumstances on Site B.

Despite its incomplete status, InGen did have plans to exhibit Proceratosaurus in Jurassic Park. It would have inhabited a small sub-paddock in the central part of the island. It would have bordered the secondary herbivore paddock (containing Brachiosaurus and Parasaurolophus) to the south and west, separated from them by a service road. To the north, it would have bordered the primary Dilophosaurus paddock, separated from it by the twenty-four-foot electric fence which divided up the regions of the Park. To the east, the main tour road would have separated them from an unused portion of paddock area.

Proceratosaurus embryos were even incubating on Isla Nublar as of June 11, 1993. However, there is no evidence that they were viable. On June 11, the power to the secondary backup generator in the embryo cold storage units was shut down due to sabotage. The insulated pipes which transferred liquid nitrogen to the cold storage units were severed during the sabotage as well, which caused a rise in temperature that led to irreparable damage to the embryos. Additionally, the pipe which fed the artificial lake outside the Visitors’ Center burst sometime after the incident; the 1994 investigation found that minor tectonic activity was a possible cause. The investigation found that the building’s foundations were severely damaged by the flooding, and water damage also affected both embryo storage units. One of the units had buckled due to the damage, resulting in specimens being washed away by floodwater. As the stolen embryos were destroyed during the incident, no recoverable DNA from Proceratosaurus remained on Isla Nublar.

Planned (orange) range for P. bradleyi on Isla Nublar, as of June 11, 1993
Mantah Corp Island

Since all ancient DNA associated with Proceratosaurus was lost in the mid-1990s, InGen’s longtime rival Mantah Corporation would have had no way to steal specimens and clone them at their island facility during the 2000s or 2010s.

Biosyn Genetics Sanctuary

Along with capturing wild dinosaurs in the early 2020s with government blessing, Biosyn Genetics was able to clone some new species of its own at the Biosyn Genetics Sanctuary. Proceratosaurus, which has been absent from all known genetic libraries since the 1990s, is unlikely to be among them.

Black market

If any party (corporate, governmental, or private) is currently in possession of Proceratosaurus DNA, they have not been identified. Since no one is openly breeding this dinosaur, it is more likely to be found on the black market if it exists at all. Forays into notorious black-market operations such as the Amber Clave in Malta have yet to yield results.

Wild populations

When this theropod first evolved about 168 million years ago, its habitat was a large island situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. During the Jurassic period, the Atlantic was a young ocean just recently formed by the breakup of Pangaea. The island where Proceratosaurus lived, a precursor to the British Isles, enjoyed a warm climate and abundant marine resources on all sides. After a time, changes in the environment caused Proceratosaurus to become extinct, though the exact causes of its extinction are not fully understood. Samples of DNA were recovered in the twentieth century by scientists, but no success was had in cloning this animal at the time.

The eventual fate of the missing Proceratosaurus DNA is unknown. If the loss was due to corporate espionage or other forms of sabotage, there is no evidence that attempts to clone it have had any measure of success.

Behavior and Ecology
Activity Patterns

The activity patterns of Proceratosaurus are unknown due to a lack of specimens.

Diet and Feeding Behavior

Proceratosaurus is a carnivore. Its dietary habits are unknown due to a lack of specimens. The mobile game Jurassic World: The Game suggests that its jaws were designed for quick, scissor-like bites, suggesting that it could kill prey by wounding it and waiting for shock and blood loss to set in, or that it could scavenge from carcasses efficiently. The game mentions that it does actively hunt live prey. Fossils found in its original environment reveal a diverse range of primitive mammals and their relatives, which could be snapped up by a hunting Proceratosaurus.

It is able to use its speed and agility to run down small prey.

It is depicted in Jurassic World: Evolution as a quick, agile predator capable of taking down prey larger than itself with bites to the neck. Prey is often killed with a pouncing attack, and multiple animals can cooperate to mob larger prey and overwhelm with superior numbers. However, it can subsist entirely off of carrion, and regularly hunts small animals rather than risk injury fighting a larger one.

Social Behavior

In the Jurassic World: Evolution games, this is portrayed as a highly social animal, living in larger groups than even some of the raptors. It is very communicative as well as gregarious, frequently making noise to keep in touch with its social group. The head crest also serves an important social function, helping Proceratosaurus identify its own kind. Like some other theropods, they will use head gestures in order to communicate, bobbing up and down or waving their snouts back and forth.

The crest of Proceratosaurus is a colorful display that it uses for communication, species recognition, and courtship.

The head crest of this dinosaur almost certainly serves a social function, regardless of how it is portrayed in the game, and its bright coloration may a Proceratosaurus identify its own kind. Depending on how much individualism occurs in the color and shape of the crest, they may even recognize one another’s faces; later tyrannosauroids are known to have complex intelligence and can recognize faces, so this trait may have already evolved in the proceratosaurids.


All dinosaurs lay eggs, and Proceratosaurus is no exception. Its much later and more derived relative Tyrannosaurus rex is known to have a cloaca, so it can be hypothesized that Proceratosaurus does as well. The head crest most likely is used by the male to attract mates.

While a lack of specimens prevents us from learning much about its reproductive cycle, studying other theropod species gives a general idea. Theropods lay bird-like ovoid eggs, typically in ground nests in clutches of twenty-one or less. The eggs are fairly small in size, and the smaller eggs usually have shorter incubation periods; three to six months is a typical duration for medium-sized and small dinosaurs. As Proceratosaurus was a fairly small theropod, it would have been on the lower end of this scale. Later tyrannosaurs are known to be fiercely protective parents, though sometimes only one of their young would survive infancy.


In Jurassic World: Evolution, this dinosaur communicates using high-pitched chittering, squawking, and squeaking noises. Its sounds are very birdlike, and it frequently makes noise to keep in touch with its neighbors. The head crest also serves communicative purposes and is used for visual display. Proceratosaurus will sometimes closely inspect the crests of its fellows, suggesting that their color is important for identification or determining health.

Ecological Interactions

As a carnivore, Proceratosaurus preys on other animals. Its paleoenvironment is known for an abundant variety of small reptiles, amphibians, and early mammals. Presumably, it would have been vulnerable to larger predators than itself, which Jurassic World: The Game suggests. Its exact relationships to other animals are unknown due to a lack of specimens.

Though a well-adapted carnivore, Proceratosaurus must still be wary of bigger predators.

In order for InGen to have obtained any DNA from this species prior to the development of iron-analysis techniques in the early 2000s, it must have been host to varieties of hematophagous parasites which fed upon its blood. Mosquitoes are one possible candidate.

Proceratosaurus in Jurassic World: Evolution are hosts to parasitic hookworms. These invertebrates are spread through meat, using one animal species as a host while they mature and eventually reaching a different host animal in which they reproduce.

Cultural Significance

Because it is quite obscure, Proceratosaurus is not featured very often in media. Its species name honors F. Lewis Bradley, a member of the Geological Society of London.

In Captivity

This dinosaur has never been made de-extinct to the best of our knowledge, so its needs in captivity can only be speculated. Its closest de-extinct relatives are much larger and far more evolutionarily derived tyrannosaurs, which probably have vastly different behaviors and requirements. Proceratosaurus probably has more in common with smaller and more distantly related theropods.

Proceratosaurus reconstruction by the Jurassic Park Institute. This is what the animal was thought to look like in the 1990s.

Discovering this species helped shed light onto the evolution of tyrannosauroids, even if Proceratosaurus was initially thought to be closer to the ceratosaurs (hence its name) and has remained comparatively obscure outside of paleontological circles. While InGen originally recovered DNA that it identified as belonging to this dinosaur, the samples were lost in 1995 during the evacuation of Isla Sorna. Samples on Isla Nublar were abandoned and lost due to temperature damage. Unfortunately, genetic research into this dinosaur is permanently on hold, since there are no signs that any other party is in possession of its DNA.


Since it was never brought back from extinction, Proceratosaurus has remained unaffected by the political debates surrounding de-extinction science and related genetic engineering practices.


Even though this species was only known from fossils and ancient DNA identified to it, InGen had already considered it an ideal candidate for Jurassic Park. This dinosaur would have been visible from the main road. It would have differed from their other small theropods such as Dilophosaurus and Velociraptor, making it a unique addition that would stand out in the Park roster. Had it been successfully cloned, it would have eventually yielded biopharmaceutical products specific to its species; since none were ever brought to life, the resources they could provide are unknown, possibly forever.


The non-existence of living Proceratosaurus makes this animal, by definition, about as safe as a dinosaur can be. In the event that its DNA is rediscovered and living specimens are cloned, this section will be updated as soon as information about its behavior patterns is available. For the time being, reference the standard safety procedures for other small carnivorous theropods to get a general idea.

Proceratosaurus, meaning “before Ceratosaurus“, was discovered in 1910 in the Forest Marble Formation of Gloucestershire, England, and was described by Friedrich von Huene in 1926. Proceratosaurus lived during the Middle Jurassic period some 168-165 million years ago, during the Bathonian age. They may have been 3m (10ft) long, 1.5m (5ft) tall, and weighed 45kg (100lbs). In spite of its name, Proceratosaurus was not a member of Ceratosauria, nor was it related to the ceratosaurs; instead, it belongs to the group Proceratosauridae in the superfamily Tyrannosauroidea. It is thought that Proceratosaurus had a small horn on its nasal bone, though this may have been a malformation caused during fossilization, as some of the upper parts of its skull were not preserved. Proceratosaurus probably had a coating of primitive feathers, much like Dilong. The dinosaur is known only from its skull, which was found near a highway construction site.

Proceratosaurus can be found on Isla Nublar, though was never seen on the tour. However, its name is listed on the Jurassic Park Brochure Map in the Ford Explorers on the tour, and on the embryo cold storage unit. They may exist on Isla Sorna, as this is where InGen originally cloned its dinosaurs, but there is currently no evidence proving that it still or ever existed there.