Claosaurus illustration
An 1898 drawing of how Claosaurus may have looked.


In 1871, the partial remains of a plant-eating, duck-billed Claosaurus was found in western Kansas. Judging from the bones found, the dinosaur was slender, about 12 feet long including its long tail, and stood partially erect on its hind legs. Although Claosaurus was a land animal, the fossils were found in a chalk bed formed from deposits in a sea that covered the area during the Cretaceous Period. So, the Claosaurus found in 1871 likely died on shore, got washed out to sea, and sank. It is the first Claosaurus discovered anywhere and the only one, so far, found in Kansas.