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Talenkauen (Eduardo Camarga)


Talenkauen (indigenous for "small skull"); pronounced TA-len-cow-en


Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 15 feet long and 500-750 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Moderate size; small head


About Talenkauen:

Ornithopods--small, herbivorous, bipedal dinosaurs--were sparse on the ground in late Cretaceous South America, with only a handful of genera discovered so far. Talenkauen stands apart from other South American ornithopods like Anabisetia and Gasparinisaura in that it bore a distinct resemblance to the much better known Iguanodon, with a long, thick body and an almost comically small head. The fossils of this dinosaur include an intriguing set of oval-shaped plates lining the rib cage; it's unclear if all ornithopods shared this feature (which has been rarely preserved in the fossil record) or if it was limited to just a few species.

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