STL Science Center

STL Science Center

27 June 2015

Gracile Dinosaurs

©Richard Andersson
The forgotten eaters of John Hammond, Procompsognathus, are well remembered by readers and dinosaur enthusiasts in general. It is not because this small dinosaur had any remarkable anatomy that was extremely odd or beautiful. In fact, Procompsognathus was one of the most basic of theropods. It looked like a theropod and it ran about like a theropod. The dinosaur was a small version of its later descendants and cousins but with a weak jaw, in comparison to later theropods, and grasping fingers. It is likely that Procompsognathus was able to jump, like Compsognathus, Coelophysis, and the small lizards running under the feet of the growing ranks of dinosaurs. The ability to jump coupled with speed and grasping fingers could have possibly been an indication of a diet of insects as well as other small meat items, like lizards and small mammals. The idea that it may have been venomous is, as far as we can be concerned at the moment, is fictional. That could always be a possibility of course, but there is no way to say with certainty at the moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment