International Dinosaur Discoveries

Dinosaur Discoveries

What was Valdosaurus?

Valdosaurus (“Wealden Lizard”) was a small-to medium-sized ornithopod dinosaur whose remains have been found on the Isle of Wight. Only a few partial, fragmented remains have been found over the years. What little evidence there is suggests that this dinosaur was about 14 feet (4.25 meters) long and about 4 feet (1.2 meters) high at the hips. The excavated leg bones of Valdosaurus are comparable to those of Dryosaurus, a dryosaurid (oak lizard) known from the Late Jurassic period of North America, which lived some 30 million years earlier. Using Dryosaurus as a guide, Valdosaurus may have been a fast-running biped with long hind legs, short front limbs, a small skull, and stocky build. From the shape and size of the hind limb bones, we know that Valdosaurus was an agile and fast runner; there is currently no evidence of any armor plates, sharp teeth, horns, or claws. Thus Valdosaurus probably was a grazing dinosaur, eating ferns and cycadlike fronds. But it remained continually alert for predators, using its running ability as a defense against attacks.


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