Herbivore, just 60cm long and covered in quills. Described as a cross between a parrot and a porcupine, it had a beak and teeth which sharpened themselves against each other.
Image by Todd Marshall - Press release (WebCite copy) ofSereno PC (2012) Taxonomy, morphology, masticatory function and phylogeny of heterodontosaurid dinosaurs. ZooKeys 226: 1-225. doi:10.3897/zookeys.226.2840., CC BY 3.0, Link
A tiny (12cm) flightless, feathered dinosaur with elongated forearms completely out of proportion to the rest of its body. The third finger is huge, like an aye-aye's, possibly for probing for insect food inside trees.
Image by Jaime A. Headden (User:Qilong) - http://qilong.deviantart.com/art/The-OTHER-Aye-aye-Dinosaur-29509451, CC BY 3.0, Link
Science Focus Podcast: The truth about dinosaurs
The image of dinosaurs as drab, slow-witted reptilians is slowly being overturned thanks to exciting new fossil discoveries and advances in the technology used to analyse them.
Check out the Science Focus Podcast episode where we speak to Steve Brusatte, a palaeontologist based at the University of Edinburgh and author of The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs: The untold story of a lost world (£20, Macmillan), about palaeontology’s emerging golden age that is revealing what dinosaurs really looked like and why they were much smarter than we used to think.
At nearly five metres tall and eight metres long, it was possibly the largest feathered dinosaur/bird in history, and may have weighed up to 2,000kg. It had no teeth, and strange claws at the end of its wings
A shark-like fish. As it grew new teeth, they pushed the older teeth forwards from the snout, thus it continually extended its jaw as it grew. Believed to have initially survived the Permian extinction event, later to die out with the other remaining dinosaurs.
Bipedal dinosaur with unique thick horizontal horns across the top of its head above the eyes. Name means "meat-eating bull". Its anatomy was baffling, including vestigial forelimbs even smaller than a T-rex's, a strangely-shaped head and small teeth.
Image by Lida Xing and Yi Liu - Persons WS IV, Currie PJ (2011) Dinosaur Speed Demon: The Caudal Musculature of Carnotaurus sastrei and Implications for the Evolution of South American Abelisaurids. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25763. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025763, CC BY 2.5, Link
Unusually small sauropod with a unique head and jaw shape not seen in any other animal. All its 500 teeth are at the end of its jaw at the front of the mouth, making its head look like the attachment to a vacuum cleaner. Each mature tooth had nine replacement teeth stacked up behind it ready to take over when it wore down.
Image by Carol Abraczinskas, Paul C. Sereno, Jeffrey A. Wilson, Lawrence M. Witmer, John A. Whitlock, Abdoulaye Maga, Oumarou Ide, Timothy A. Rowe - Structural Extremes in a Cretaceous Dinosaur. PLoS ONE. 2, 11, e1230. 2007. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001230, CC BY 2.5, Link
Possessed a bizarre double row of parallel spines along its neck and back, taller than any other sauropod.
Extraordinary head shape and adornments evolved for head-butting opponents; closest-looking dinosaur to a mythical dragon. It's latin name means meaning "dragon king of Hogwarts" after the Harry Potter series of books.
Words by Ben Sykes
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