Dinosauria Online


[ Compsognathus | Compy Skeliton | CGI Running Compy ]

COMPSOGNATHUS (komp-SOG-nath-us) "Eligant Jaw" (Greek kompos = elegant + gnathos = jaw)

One of the smallest known adult dinosaurs. Compsotnathus was about the size of a chicken. Only baby dinosaurs are smaller. This tiny COELUROSAUR lived in Europe druing the Late JURASSIC PERIOD. It was BIPEDAL and had long, delicate, birdlike legs, a small, pointed head; and a flexible neck. Like all coelurosaurs, it had hollow bones and was fleet-footed. Its TEETH were sharp , and its short arms were equipped with two-fingered HANDS with which it could catch and hold prey. It probably ate insects and small REPTILES or mouselike mammals. This coelurosaur was very birdlike, and it is possible that it had feathers.

A complete skeleton of Compsognathus was found in Germany. It had the skeleton of a ssmaller reptile within its body. Scientists once believed that this skeleton was a baby Compsognathus. It has now been shown that the skeleton was a young Bavarisaurus - a small, fast-running ground lizard that was the last meal for the Compsognathus. This discovery provides proof of the agility and swiftness of this little predator.

Classification: Coelurosauria, Theropoda, Saurischia