Ornitholestes facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Temporal range: Upper Jurassic
This is the only fossil of Ornitholestes (AMNH)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
(unranked): Coelurosauria
Genus: Ornitholestes
Osborn, 1903

Ornitholestes was a carnivorous dinosaur which lived in the Upper Jurassic period about 156–145 million years ago. It was about 2 metres long (6.6 feet), half of which was its long tail. Only one specimen of it has ever been found.

It is one of a group of small, fast-running dinosaurs which are classified as early Coelurosaurs. It is known from a partial skeleton found near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, in 1900. It was described by paleontologist Henry F. Osborn in 1903.


Ornitholestes was a bipedal runner. Its small head suggests it ate small mammals, lizards, frogs, and hatchling dinosaurs. It could grasp prey with both hands. It is likely that all coelurosaurs had feathers.

Similar dinosaurs

Coelurus, Compsognathus, Tanycolagreus.

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Ornitholestes Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.