Procompsognathus triassicus

  • Pronounced:  pro - comp - so - Nath - us

  • Diet:  Carnivore (meat-eater)

  • Name Means:  "Ancestor of Pretty Jaw"

  • Length:  3 feet (1 m)

  • Height:  1 foot (.3 m)

  • Weight:  5 pounds (2.5 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Triassic - 215 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Germany

ProCompsognathus  is the ancestor of the more famous (thanks to the "The Lost World: Jurassic Park") Compsognathus  It was about the same size but lighter. It was also very fast for such a small dinosaur - it could probably run at over 35 mph for a short distance! It also probably hunted in groups, running through the forest looking for small lizards, baby dinosaurs, little mammals and big bugs. It had lots of small, sharp teeth and could use its hands to grab its prey.

This little dinosaur was at the base of a successful family of creatures (Theropoda). It had a long, thin neck that was most likely held in an "S" shape so it could swiftly move its head forward to bite. It had long, slender, almost straight-foot claws, which would have been good for digging or kicking straight out in front during an attack. It could also have used its tail as a weapon as it was very muscular at the base.

ProCompsognathus  shared the general body style of the Coelophysoidea - long tapering snout, small teeth, powerful legs, and the long neck. Its eyes were not forward facing and therefore it probably had poor depth perception - a liability for a hunter. It may have been a good tree climber.

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