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Leaellynasaura facts for kids

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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Cerapoda
Infraorder: Ornithopoda
Genus: Leaellynasaura
Rich & Rich, 1989
  • L. amicagraphica Rich & Rich, 1989 (type)

Leaellynasaura (meaning "Leaellyn's lizard") was a fast-running, plant-eating dinosaur that lived in Australia during the middle Cretaceous Period, roughly 115-110 million years ago. Australia was within the Antarctic Circle during the Cretaceous period, and it had a very long winter.


Leaellynasaura is known from two nearly complete skeletons and two skulls. It is described as an ornithopod. Unlike some other ornithischians, the Leaellynasaura did not have any tendons in its tail. The tail is known for being among the longest of its relatives: it was three times longer than the rest of the whole body. It also has more vertebrae in its tail than any other ornithischians except for some hadrosaurs. It also had large eyes to help it look in the dark winter.

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