Welcome to the fascinating world of the smallest dinosaurs! Dinosaurs have long been a source of fascination and awe for people of all ages. From the giant T-Rex to the tiny Compsognathus, these creatures have captivated our imaginations for centuries. But what about the smallest of them all? In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 smallest dinosaurs, and explore their unique characteristics and behaviors.
The Top 10 Smallest Dinosaurs
The smallest dinosaurs were some of the earliest species to appear on Earth. They were small, lightweight, and agile. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 smallest dinosaurs.
#10 Smallest Dinosaurs: Compsognathus
We’ll start with the Compsognathus, which was about the size of a chicken. Compsognathus lived in the forests and woodlands of what is now Europe. It was a ground-dwelling animal that likely fed on small animals such as lizards, insects, and other small vertebrates.
Compsognathus was a small, two-legged carnivore that lived during the late Jurassic period. It was one of the earliest known members of the theropod family, which includes the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. It was a small, agile predator. It had long, slender legs and a long tail that it used for balance, which also allowed it to move quickly and maneuver around obstacles.
Size: Compsognathus was one of the smallest dinosaurs, measuring about 60–90 cm (2–3 feet) long and weighing about 5.5 kg (12 pounds).
#9 Smallest Dinosaurs: Microraptor
Next, we have the smallest Raptor – the Microraptor, which was slightly smaller than the Compsognathus. This species had four wings, which allowed it to glide through the air. It also had a long tail and sharp claws.
Microraptor was a small, carnivore, feathered dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period. It was one of the earliest known members of the dromaeosaurid family, which includes the famous Velociraptor.
Size: Microraptor was one of the smallest dinosaurs, measuring about 80 cm (2.6 feet) long and weighing about 1 kg (2.2 pounds).
#8 Smallest Dinosaurs: Parvicursor
The smallest maniraptoran is the Parvicursor, which lived during the late Cretaceous period. It was a small,bird-like, two-legged carnivore that was capable of running. It had long, slender legs and a long, flexible neck. It also had a long tail that it used for balance and was a fast runner. It was probably a carnivore but mainly included insects.
Size: Parvicursor was about 40 cm (1.3 feet) long and weighed about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).
#7 Smallest Dinosaurs: Zhongornis
The smallest avialian known is the Zhongornis. The fossil found was almost complete but it was just from a juvenile so the adult size cannot be determined. However, despite the limited information, we will still classify the Zhongirnis to be the smallest bird-like dinosaur.
Size: The almost complete size of the juvenile Zhongornis is only 8 cm.
#6 Smallest Dinosaurs: Europasaurus
The smallest sauropod is the Europasaurus, which lived during the late Jurassic period. It was a small, four-legged herbivore that was capable of walking. It had a long neck and tail that it used for balance and was a slow runner.
Europasaurus is a genus of small sauropod dinosaurs that lived in the Late Jurassic period. It was discovered in 2009 in the Lower Saxony Basin of Germany. It is believed to be a close relative of the much larger Brachiosaurus.
Size: The length of the Europasaurus was about 170 cm (6 feet) in juveniles to 620 cm (20 feet) in the largest adult and weighed around 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).
#5 Smallest Dinosaurs: Microceratus
The smallest ceratopsian is the Microceratus (meaning “small-horned”) , which lived during the Late Cretaceous period. It was first discovered in China and Mongolia. It was a small, bipedal, herbivore dinosaur. It had short forearms and its small size could make it a fast runner.
Size: The Microceratus is about 60 cm (2 feet) long and weighed around 3-10 kilograms (6.6-22 pounds).
Additional Fact: Microceratus was previously named as Microceratops but it was later found out that the latter name was already used for a wasp species hence the change of its name.
#4 Smallest Dinosaurs: Dilong
The smallest tyrannosaur is the Dilong, which lived during the Early Cretaceous period about 130-140 million years ago in what is now China. Dilong was relatively small compared to other tyrannosaur which is about the size of a large dog. Despite its small size, Dilong had many of the typical features of later and larger tyrannosaurs, such as a large head, powerful jaws, and sharp teeth.
Size: The Dilong was about 160cm (5 feet) in length from head to tail and weighed around 20-60 kg (44-132 lbs)
#3 Smallest Dinosaurs: Anchiornis
The smallest known theropod dinosaur is likely Anchiornis huxleyi, which lived during the Late Jurassic period about 160 million years ago in what is now China. Anchiornis was a feathered dinosaur which is about the size of a modern-day pigeon. Anchiornis was a member of the Paraves clade, which also includes birds and other feathered dinosaurs like Velociraptors and Archaeopteryx. Its small size, feathered body, and bird-like features suggest that Anchiornis may have been an early bird or a close relative of birds.
Size: Anchiornis measured only about 34 cm (13 inches) in length and weighed around 110 grams (less than 0.25 lbs)
#2 Smallest Dinosaurs: Liaoningosaurus
The smallest known ankylosaur dinosaur is likely Liaoningosaurus, which lived during the Early Cretaceous period about 120-125 million years ago in what is now China. Liaoningosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur which is about the size of a small dog. Despite its small size, Liaoningosaurus had the typical features of ankylosaurs, such as a heavily armored body, a clubbed tail, and a low-slung, quadrupedal stance. Other small ankylosaurs include Minmi and Gobisaurus, which were also relatively small, measuring around 2-3 meters (6.5-10 feet) in length.
Size: Liaoningosaurus measured only about 100 cm (3.3 feet) in length and weighed around 20 kg (44 lbs),.
#1 Smallest Dinosaurs
What Is The Smallest Dinosaur? The Oculudentavis
The smallest dinosaur known to date is likely the bee hummingbird-sized dinosaur, Oculudentavis khaungraae. It lived during the mid-Cretaceous period, about 99 million years ago in what is now Myanmar. Oculudentavis was first described in 2020 and is known from a single, well-preserved fossil that measures only about 1.4 cm (0.6 inches) in length.
However, there is some controversy surrounding whether Oculudentavis is a true dinosaur or not. Some researchers have suggested that it may be a type of ancient bird or an early relative of birds. Before the discovery of Oculudentavis, the smallest known dinosaur was the previously mentioned Anchiornis huxleyi.
The Oculudentavis is believed to be the smallest dinosaur ever discovered, measuring only about 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) in length and weighing only about 0.2 ounces (5.7 grams). Its name is derived from the Latin words oculus, meaning eye, and dentavis, meaning tooth. It was a small, two-legged carnivore that was capable of running. It had a long tail that it used for balance and was a fast runner.
Its small size is believed to be due to its diet, which likely consisted of small insects and other invertebrates. Its small size also suggests that it was likely a fast runner, able to escape predators.
Smallest Living Dinosaur – The Hummingbird
The smallest living dinosaur is the Hummingbird which is a small, two-winged bird that is capable of flight. Hummingbirds are the smallest living birds and are found in many parts of the world. They are about 3 inches long and weigh about 0.1 ounces. They have a very fast metabolism and can flap their wings up to 80 times per second. They feed on nectar from flowers and can hover in mid-air while they feed. It has a long beak and tail that it uses for balance and is a fast flier.
The Top 10 Smallest Dinosaurs are a list of the smallest dinosaurs that have ever been discovered. This list of the smallest dinosaurs is some of the most fascinating creatures to have ever lived. They range from the Compsognathus, the smallest dinosaur ever discovered, to the smallest living dinosaur, the hummingbird. Each of these dinosaurs has its own unique significance and importance in the history of paleontology.
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