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Ornithopod dinosaur (composite cast)

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Tendons and cartilage are rarely preserved but this Thescelosaurus has both. The long tendons crisscrossing the backbones may have provided support for movement. The irregular shapes on the ribs are fossilized cartilage.

Thescelosaurus had a beak and cheeks like its hadrosaur relatives, but the leaf-shaped teeth show that it probably ate different types of plants. Because its forelimbs and hands are so much smaller than in hadrosaurs, it probably only walked on two legs.

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  • Title: Ornithopod dinosaur (composite cast)
  • Location: Lance Formation, Niobrara Co., Wyoming
  • Physical Dimensions: L: 311.5 cm W: 32 cm H: 96 cm
  • Type: Fossil
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • Weight: 250 kg (estimated)
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): V7757
  • Scientific Name: <i>Thescelosaurus neglectus</i>
  • Photo Credit: James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Historic Period: Lived 68–66 million years ago
  • Geologic Age: Mesozoic - Cretaceous - Upper/Late - Maastrichtian
  • Field: Paleobiology
  • Date Collected: 1891


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