Hypsilophodon was a dinosaur which lived approximately 121-125 million years ago during the early Cretaceous Period. The name Hypsilophodon which means “high crested tooth.” There are many fossils of this dinosaur's have been found all over the world in places such as South Dakota in North America and in various parts of Europe.
This dinosaur was about 6 feet long, 2 feet tall and weighed approximately 150 pounds. A fascinating fact about Hypsilophodon is that could probably run extremely fast. It was bipedal - meaning that it ran on two legs - and had a horned beak on its small 5 inch long skull.
This dinosaur had a pretty simple plant-based diet. It had dozens of cheek teeth that were not only razor sharp, but also capable of sharpening themselves as they dulled. This would have allowed it to eat even the toughest plant material of the time. It probably lived off of the indigenous plants of the time which would have included conifers, herbaceous seed plants and club ferns.
Hypsilophodon had long legs that were very flexible and capable of giving this dinosaur the speed it needed to evade predators. This dinosaur also had a long tail that could be used to balance itself as it ran. The last important feature of this dinosaur’s physiology is that it had small front legs that it seem to have been able to use like hands to grasp vegetation.
Hypsilophodon was painted as a reptilian tree-fancier, scurrying up the nearest trunk for safety whenever predators came around. His small size and special talents blow away the popular misperception that most dinosaurs were lumbering giants.
Hypsilophodon was discovered all the way back in 1849, and our outlook on this little animal has changed quite a bit since then.
You can find more information about other dinosaurs on our main dinosaur page at Dinosaur Pictures. We hope that this page will given you an insight into what we know – and what we don’t know – about the life of all the types of dinosaurs.