Facts on The Struthiomimus & Lesothosaurus
The Struthiomimus is an adorable mini dinosaur. The first discovery of these fossils were found by an American scientist Othniel C. Marsh in 1890. It looked like an ostrich because it had a long neck, a small head, beak and long legs. The name Struthiomimus means 'ostrich mimic' because it looked and probably moved like an ostrich. The dinosaur belonged to the class Theropoda and ate plants and animals.
The fast running Struthiomimus may have looked like a large bird, but it did not have wings but feathers on its main body and did not fly. It ran on its two long back legs, and gripping the ground with the curved claws on its toes. The mini monster used its long thin, rigid tail to balance itself. It had two short skinny arms and long, three-fingered hands. These fingered hands were probably used for reaching and picking up food.
The Struthiomimus ate several things which includes plants, seeds, nuts and fruits for its daily diet. It snapped at flying insects with its toothless, horny beak and gobbled up small creatures on the ground including lizards. It may even have stolen eggs from other dinosaurs nests by raiding them, and eating the eggs or the newly hatched baby dinosaurs.
These speedy-running dinosaurs had no weapons to defend themselves and maybe travelled in groups for their safety. If this mini creature was in danger of attack by predators, it would run away quickly. It was a very fast sprinter and could run at speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour, over short distances, and could probably outrun the big hunting predators.
Other facts on this dinosaur - It measured 3 to 4 meters long and 2 meters in height. It lived on plants, seeds, fruits, eggs and lizards. It lived 80 to 66 million years ago in the Cretaceous period in western North America, especially in Alberta, Canada and New Jersey, US.
The Lesothosaurus was one of the tiniest prehistoic creatures that ever lived, and an easy target for meat-eating predators. As the name already suggests, it means 'reptile from Lesotho' or 'Lesotho lizard' a country in southern Africa. The Lesothosaurus lived in the late Triassic to the early Jurassic period around 190 million years ago and belonged to the class Ornithopoda. It fed on low-lying plants and measured around 1 meter long and weighed 8 pounds. Its habitat was also in South America.
The dinosaur was no bigger than a Labrador dog. This mini dinosaur looked a lot like a lizard with a long tail. Its head was small with a strong mouth which looked like a beak of a bird, and used it to nip off leaves and plants for eating. Inside its mouth, along the cheeks, there were small teeth in the shape of arrow heads. These teeth were used to chew up the hard and woody parts of the plants before it was swallowed.
The Lesothosaurus had a body that was made for speed. It was light and swift with long and slender back legs. It was always on the alert for danger, and it could run very fast to flee from the vicious carnivores whenever they attempted to catch and kill the Lesothosaurus.
This dwarf dinosaur had no weapons to defend itself. The experts reckon it may have had a way of warning another Lesothosaurus by a noise or even a signal, especially when a predator was nearby.