Dinosaurs Fact File by Paul Harrison

By Paul Harrison

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Tiny tyrannosaur? Palaeontologists have only had the chance to study two Compsognathus skeletons, so our knowledge has plenty of gaps. For instance, we don’t even know how many fingers it has! 6 poun ra g o il k 3 t h Weig Food Meat s Tiny size Special feature Tyrannosaurus rex. However, some palaeontologists argue that it is far more likely to have three and that the remains of the third fingers have been separated from the rest of its body. 55 Bird-like One school of thought suggests that Compsognathus might be covered in feathers.

3 me es (10 feet) Length 3 metr ounds) ograms (66 p Weight 30 kil Food Meat s Light bones Special feature TRIASSIC JURASSIC CRETACEOUS 54 Compsognathus For many years, Compsognathus was the smallest dinosaur ever discovered. Not much taller than a large chicken, this little predator spends its time chasing after lizards and other small prey. Tiny tyrannosaur? Palaeontologists have only had the chance to study two Compsognathus skeletons, so our knowledge has plenty of gaps. For instance, we don’t even know how many fingers it has!

Avimimus remains have not been preserved well enough to detect such details, though. However, even if it did have feathers, it’s unlikely that it could fly. Quick,quick Avimimus is quick of thought and of movement. With a light bone structure and long, thin legs, it is probably very agile. Speed would be handy since it hunts insects and lizards, which can be pretty quick themselves. It is also one of the more intelligent dinosaurs: its brain is large for its body weight and it has very well-developed sight.

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