Hypsilophodon was an agile, fast moving bipedal dinosaur. It had long, slender hind legs that gave it its speed and agility. Each foot had four long toes. Hypsilophodon was a relativity small dinosaur, it grew to 8 feet in length and almost half of this length was made up by its long tail. Hypsilophodon lived during the Early Cretaceous period, about 120 million years ago. It is believed by scientists that Hypsilophodon was an herbivore, since the landscape that Hypsilophodon lived in was covered by ferns and horse-tails, which may have been its main source of food. Hypsilophodon had a small skull with a horny bill, cheek pouches, and large eyes. Inside its mouth were about 30 chisel like teeth. The first discovery of Hypsilophodon was made in 1849, in the Isle of Wight. At the beginning Hypsilophodon was confused with a young Iguanodon. Over the period of 20 years, more Hypsilophodon specimens were discovered and scientists then realized that a mistake had been made. In 1869, Thomas Huxley an English paleontologist declared that the animal was in fact, a new dinosaur which he named Hypsilophodon after its distinctive teeth. The name Hypsilophodon means “High ridge tooth”. Scientists believe that Hypsilophodon cared for their young, as fossilized eggs in nests have been found in carefully arranged patterns, suggesting that Hypsilophodon was a caring dinosaur.
Class Order: Ornithischia
Name Meaning: High-ridged tooth
Period: Mid Cretaceous 125 -120 million years ago
Length: 6-7 feet (1.83meters)
Weight: 40-45 Pounds