Heterodontosaurus was a small herbivore (plant-eater), only 3 feet (90 centimeters)
long. It lived in the early Jurassic period,
South Africa, roughly 205 million years ago.
Its name (which means "varied toothed lizard") stems from its three kinds of
teeth. Its teeth are unusual because reptiles and dinosaurs usually only
have a single kind of teeth. At the frront of Heterodontosaurus' jaw
were small teeth using for chopping leaves and other plant fibers, these
were followed by large tusks which may jhave been used for sexual displays,
and at the back of the jaw were tall square teeth which were adapted for
An additional adaption for chewing was cheeks:
Heterodontosaurus was also one of the first kinds of dinosaurs to have developed
cheeks to keep the food in its mouth.
Heterodontosaurus' hands were also interesting. Each hand contained five
fingers, two of which were opposable "thumbs" allowing the
creature to grasp its food.
"Heterodontosaurus" means "varied toothed lizard".
Heterodontosaurus was a member of the Ornithischia ("bird-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Heterodontosaurus was not closely related to birds, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.
Heterodontosaurus lived about 205 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period.
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