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Temporal range: Lower Jurassic
199–189 mya
Scientific classification
Notice the skull shape is different from the artist's impression

Lesothosaurus was a small, early, lightly-built dinosaur. It was an herbivore (plant-eater) and a fast, agile runner. It was small and lizard-like, about 3 feet (1 m) long. It walked on two long legs, had four-toed feet, five-fingered hands, short arms, a long pointed tail, a flexible neck, and a small head. Its head was short and flat with large eyes. It had sharp, pointed front teeth and arrow-like cheek teeth, but its lower jaw ended in toothless bone.

The place of this species within the Ornithischia is controversial. It is probably an ornithopod.[1][2][3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Butler, Richard J.; Upchurch, Paul; Norman, David B. (2008). "The phylogeny of the ornithischian dinosaurs". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 6 (1): 1–40. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002271. S2CID 86728076.
  2. Knoll, Fabien; Padian, Kevin; De Ricqlès, Armand (2009). "Ontogenetic change and adult body size of the early ornithischian dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: implications for basal ornithischian taxonomy". Gondwana Research. online. preprint (1): 171–179. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2009.03.010.
  3. Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall illustrated encyclopedia of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. London: Marshall. p. 134. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.