Ornitholestes

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Ornitholestes
Temporal range: Upper Jurassic
This is the only fossil of Ornitholestes (AMNH)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
(unranked): Coelurosauria
Genus: Ornitholestes
Osborn, 1903

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 | edit 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.[1]

Similar dinosaurs[change | edit source]

Coelurus, Compsognathus, Tanycolagreus.

References[change | edit source]

  1. 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. ISBN 978-0-520-24209-8.