Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fruitadens

Fruitadens haagarorum
Allow me to introduce you to a tiny little Dinosaur named Fruitadens. They are the smallest discovered members of the entire Ornithischian (bird-hipped) Order. These tiny guys only measured 2ft in length, and weighed less than 2lbs!

Fruitadens are not, in fact, named "Fruit Tooth." The moniker actually comes from the Fruita region of Colorado, which is where their fossils were discovered. Confusing the issue even more is the fact that they little guys probably did eat fruit... but they also ate small critters, insects, and other plants as well. It seems that they were very opportunistic feeders.

Fruitadens was first described only 2 years ago, but the bones where uncovered back in the 1970s and 1980s! They sat stored at the Los Angeles County Museum for decades until a more exact study could be done. The resulting analysis turned up one species, Fruitadens haagarorum (named for the President of the Museum's Board of Trustees), which lived during the Late Jurassic.

Status : Extinct since the Late Jurassic - 150 million years ago
Location : Colorado
Size : Length up to 30in (76cm), Weight up to 1.7lbs (.7kg
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : †Ornithischia
Family : †Heterodontosauridae -- Genus : †Fruitadens -- Species : †F. haagarorum

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