Talenkauen (indigenous for "small skull"); pronounced TA-len-cow-en
Woodlands of South America
Late Cretaceous (70-65 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 15 feet long and 500-750 pounds
Moderate size; small head
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.