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Gasparinisaura (Wikimedia Commons)


Gasparinisaura (Greek for "Gasparini’s lizard"); pronounced GAS-par-EE-knee-SORE-ah


Woodlands of South America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (90-85 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3 feet long and 50 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; short, blunt head


About Gasparinisaura:

About the size and weight of a typical second-grader, Gasparinisaura is important because it's one of the few ornithopod dinosaurs known to have lived in South America during the late Cretaceous period. Judging by the discovery of numerous fossil remains in the same area, this small plant-eater probably lived in herds, which helped protect it from the larger predators in its ecosystem (as did its ability to run away very quickly when threatened!). As you may have noticed, Gasparinisaura is one of the few dinosaurs to be named after the female, rather than the male, of the species, an honor it shares with Maiasaura and Leaellynasaura.


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