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Tethyshadros (Nobu Tamura)


Tethyshadros (Greek for "Tethys hadrosaur"); pronounced TEH-thiss-HAY-dross


Woodlands of Europe

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 12 feet long and 800 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Relatively small size; long skull


About Tethyshadros:

Discovered recently in Italy--only the second dinosaur ever to have that honor--Tethyshadros is important for two reasons: first, this dinosaur's remains are remarkably complete, and second, they indicate that Tethyshadros was a "dwarf" genus of the hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) family. Whereas most duck-billed dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous period were massive and ungainly (witness the gigantic Shantungosaurus), Tethyhadros weighed a relatively svelte 800 pounds or so and measured "only" about 12 feet from head to tail.

Whence the "Tethys" in the name Tethyshadros? Back in the late Cretaceous period, much of Europe was covered by a shallow body of water known as the Tethys Sea. The paleontologist who named Tethyshadros theorizes that this dinosaur's ancestors migrated to the Mediterranean from Asia, hopping and skipping across the shallow islands dotting this ancient body of water.


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