Temporal range: Upper Jurassic
|This is the only fossil of Ornitholestes (AMNH)|
Ornitholestes was a carnivorous dinosaur which lived in the Upper Jurassic period about 156–145 million years ago. It was about 2 metres long (6.6 feet), half of which was its long tail. Only one specimen of it has ever been found.
It is one of a group of small, fast-running dinosaurs which are classified as early Coelurosaurs. It is known from a partial skeleton found near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, in 1900. It was described by paleontologist Henry F. Osborn in 1903.
Description[change | change source]
Ornitholestes was a bipedal runner. Its small head suggests it ate small mammals, lizards, frogs, and hatchling dinosaurs. It could grasp prey with both hands. It is likely that all coelurosaurs had feathers.
Similar dinosaurs[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Holtz, Thomas R.; Molnar, Ralph E. & Currie, Philip J. 2004. "Basal Tetanurae". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter & Osmólska, Halszka. The Dinosauria. 2nd ed, University of California Press. pp. 71–110. .