Other theropods

Compsognathus skull

Compsognathus skull

There was a huge variety of theropods. Most have been put into groups, like the carnosaurs, but some theropods, such as Baryonyx, Ornitholestes, and Compsognathus, do not fit into any of the established groups. Baryonyx had an unusual, crocodile-like jaw, and a savage claw on each hand. Compsognathus and Ornitholestes were two of the smallest dinosaurs.

Lightweight head Chicken-sized Compsognathus had a small, pointed head with sharp, daggerlike teeth. The skull was lightly built and had huge openings, especially those of the orbits (eye sockets).

Ornitholestes

Small and fast

Ornitholestes was swift and agile and may have hunted in packs. It grasped prey, such as small lizards and mammals, firmly between sharp thumb and finger claws.

Ornitholestes was about 6l/2 ft (2 m) long.

Small and fast

Ornitholestes was swift and agile and may have hunted in packs. It grasped prey, such as small lizards and mammals, firmly between sharp thumb and finger claws.

Ornitholestes was about 6l/2 ft (2 m) long.

Unique skeleton

We know about Baryonyx from a single skeleton, which includes a 6-in-long (30 cm) thumb claw. Its crocodile-like snout, which had a crest on top, had 128 finely serrated teeth. The main diet of Baryonyx may have been fish, which it could snatch from the river using its long claws.

Lower jaw

Baryonyx Skeleton

Lower jaw

Clawed foot

The Baryonyx skeleton that was found was only 70 percent complete.

Clawed foot

The Baryonyx skeleton that was found was only 70 percent complete.

Crocodile-like I snout

Neck held straight

Straight-necked

Baryonyx would have been about 34 ft (10.5 m) long and nearly 10 ft (3 m) tall. It held its head low, and its neck was straight, not curved like many other theropods.

Powerful

Crocodile-like I snout

Neck held straight

Death pose This reconstruction of Baryonyx shows how it must have looked shortly after dying.

Powerful

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