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What are Taxonomy and Cladistics How Are Dinosaurs Classified? Dinosaur Genera Not Dinosaurs, but Old and Interesting
Major Dinosaur Families Saurischian Dinosaurs
"Lizard-Hipped"
Ornithischian Dinosaurs
"Bird-Hipped"
Dinosaur Cladogram


THE MAJOR DINOSAUR FAMILIES

Paleontologists often name a new dinosaur genus for its most distinctive characteristic, usually in the Latin or ancient Greek form. For example, Compsognathus means "pretty jaw" and Triceratops means "three-horned head." Sometimes a dinosaur is named for its location (like Albertosaurus which was found in Alberta, Canada) or to honor a fossil hunter (like Lambeosaurus, named for Lawrence Lambe).

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DINOSAUR FAMILY SOME GENERA TIME RANGE SIZE RANGE
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THEROPODS
Bipedal predators
Herrerasauria Saltopodidae (leaping feet) Saltopus, Eoraptor late Triassic 2-3 feet (0.7-1 m) long
Staurikosaurids (Southern Cross lizards) Staurikosaurus late Triassic 6.5-10 feet (2-3 m) long
Herrerasaurids (Herrera lizards) Herrerasaurus late Triassic to early Jurassic 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long or more
Ceratosauria Coelophysids (hollow form) Coelophysis, Saltopus late Triassic to early Jurassic 2-10 feet (0.6-3 m) long
Ceratosaurids (horned lizards) CeratosaurusSyntarsus Early-Late Cretaceous 11.5-20 feet (3.5-6 m) long
Podokesaurids (swift-footed lizards) Podokesaurus, Syntarsus Early-Late Jurassic 3-10 feet (1-3 m) long
Abelisaurids (Abel's lizard) Abelisaurus, Indosaurus Early-Late Cretaceous up to 36 feet (11 m) long
Noasaurids (lizards from NW Argentina) Noasaurus Late Cretaceous 8 feet (2.4 m) long
Segisauridae (Segi Canyon Arizona lizards) Segisaurus, Dilophosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 20 feet (6 m) long
Coelurosauria Coelurids (hollow tails) Coelurus, Ornitholestes Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 m) long
Dryptosaurids (wounding lizards) Dryptosaurus Late Cretaceous +20 feet (6 m) long
Compsognathids (pretty jaw) Compsognathus late Jurassic to early Cretaceous 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) long
Oviraptors (egg thieves) Oviraptor Late Cretaceous 6 feet (1.8 m) long
Caenagnathids (recent jawless) Caenagnathus, Microvenator Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 7 feet (2 m) long
Avimimids (bird mimics) Avimimus Late Cretaceous 5 feet (1.5 m) long
Ornithomimids (bird mimics) Ornithomimus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 11.5-19.5 feet (3.5-6 m) long
Garudimimids (Garuda mimics) Garudimimus, Harpymimus Mid-Late Cretaceous 11.6 feet (3.5 m) long
Deinocherids (terrible hands) Deinocheirus Late Cretaceous 45 feet (13.5 m) long (unsure - from incomplete fossils)
Dromaeosaurids (running lizards) Caudipteryx, Deinonychus, Dromaeosaurus, Protarchaeopteryx, Sinornithosaurus, Sinosauropteryx, Unenlagia, Utahraptor, Velociraptor Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 6-13 feet (1.8-4 m) long
Troödontids (wounding teeth) Troödon Late Cretaceous 6.6 feet (2 m) long
Tyrannosaurids (tyrant lizards) Tyrannosaurus, Albertosaurus, Nanotyrannus Late Cretaceous 16-40 feet (5-12 m) long
Carnosauria Allosaurids (different lizards) Allosaurus, Yangchuanosaurus Late Jurassic 33-42 feet (10-12.8 m) long
Carcharodontosaurids (horned lizards) Carcharodontosaurus, Giganotosaurus Mid - Late Cretaceous 40+ feet (12 m) long
Spinosaurids (thorn lizards) Spinosaurus, Suchomimus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 50 feet (15 m) long
Baryonychids (heavy claws) Baryonyx Early Cretaceous 30 feet (9 m) long
Megalosaurids (giant lizards) Megalosaurus, Altispinax, Erectopus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 23-30 feet (7-9 m) long
Segnosauria Therizinosaurids (scythe lizards) Therizinosaurus Late Cretaceous 35 feet (10.7 m) long
Segnosaurids (slow lizards) Segnosaurus Late Cretaceous 16-30 feet (5-9 m) long
SAUROPODS
Quadrupedal herbivores
Prosauropoda Anchisaurids (near lizards) Anchisaurus Mid-Triassic- Early Jurassic 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long
Plateosaurids (flat lizards) Plateosaurus, Mussaurus late Triassic - Early Jurassic 5-26 feet (1.5-8 m) long
Melanorosaurids (black mountain lizard) Melanorosaurus, Riojasaurus late Triassic- Early Jurassic 19-40 feet (6-12 m) long
Massospondylidae (black mountain lizard) Massospondylus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Sauropoda Cetiosaurids (whale lizards) Cetiosaurus, Protognathus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous .
Camarasaurids (chambered lizards) Camarasaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 40-60 feet (12-18 m) long
Dicraeosaurids (two-forked lizards) Amargasaurus, Dicraeosaurus, Rebbachisaurus Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous 33-28 feet (10-20 m) long
Euhelopodids (good marsh feet) Euhelopus, Tienshanosaurus Late Jurassic 33-90 feet (10-27 m) long
Titanosaurids (titanic lizards) Aegyptosaurus, Alamosaurus, Andesaurus, Argentinosaurus, Hypselosaurus, Quaesitosaurus, Saltasaurus, Titanosaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 30-70 feet (9-21 m) long
Diplodocids (double-beamed form) Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Barosaurus, Supersaurus, Seismosaurus Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 54-90 feet (16.5-27 m) long
Brachiosaurids (arm lizards) Astrodon, Brachiosaurus, Ultrasauros Mid-Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous 33-82 feet (10-25 m) long
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ORNITH-
OPODS

herbivores
Fabrosauria, Lesotho-
sauria
Fabrosaurids (Fabre's lizards) Fabrosaurus, Lesothosaurus, Xiaosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 3.3 feet (1 m) long
Heterodontosaurids (different-teeth lizards) Heterodontosaurus late Triassic to Early Jurassic 4 feet (1.2 m) long
Ornithopoda Hypsilophodontids (high-ridged teeth) Hypsilophodon, Orodromeus Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 3-8 feet (0.9-2.4 m) long
Dryosaurids (oak lizards) Dryosaurus Mid-Jurassic to Early Cretaceous 9-21 feet (2.7-6.5 m) long
Iguanodontids (iguana teeth) Iguanodon, Ouranosaurus, Anoplosaurus Early- Late Cretaceous 13.5-29 feet (4-9 m) long
Camptosaurids (bent lizards) Camptosaurus, Muttaburrasaurus Mid-Jurassic to Late Cretaceous 4-23 feet (1.2-7 m) long
Hadrosaurids (big lizards) Hadrosaurus, Maiasaura, Anatotitan, Edmontosaurus, Saurolophus, Trachodon Late Cretaceous 12-50 feet (3.7-15 m) long
Lambeosaurids (Lambe's lizard) Lambeosaurus, Bactrosaurus, Corythosaurus, Jaxartosaurus, Parasaurolophus Late Cretaceous 13-50 feet (4-15 m) long
Thescelosaurids (wonderful lizards) Thescelosaurus Late Cretaceous 11 feet (3.4 m) long
MARGINO-
CEPHALIA

herbivores
Pachycephalo-
sauria
Pachycephalosaurids (thick-headed lizards) Pachycephalosaurus, Stegoceras, Stygimoloch Early - Late Cretaceous 3-15 feet (0.9-4.6 m) long
Homalocephalids (even-headed forms) Wannanosaurus Late Cretaceous 1.5-10 feet (0.5-3 m) long
Ceratopsia Protoceratopsids (first horned faces) Protoceratops, Bagaceratops, Leptoceratops, Montanoceratops, Notoceratops, Zuniceratops Late Cretaceous 3.3-10 feet (1-3 m) long
Ceratopsidae (horned faces) Anchiceratops, Avaceratops, Arrhinoceratops, Brachyceratops, Ceratops, Monoclonius, Styracosaurus, Torosaurus, Triceratops Late Cretaceous 6-30 feet (1.8-9 m) long
Psittacosaurids (parrot lizards) Psittacosaurus Early Cretaceous 6.5 feet (2 m) long
THYREO-
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(ENOPLA-
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armored, herbivorous, quadrupeds
x Scutellosaurids (small-shield lizard) Scutellosaurus Early Jurassic to Late Jurassic 2.4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) long
Scelidosaurids (limb lizards) Scelidosaurus Early Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Stegosauria Huayangosaurids (Huayang lizards) Huayangosaurus, Tatisaurus Mid-Jurassic 13 feet (4 m) long
Stegosaurinae (roof lizards) Stegosaurus, Dacentrurus, Kentrosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Yingshanosaurus Late Cretaceous 13-30 feet (3-9 m) long
Stegosauridae (roof lizards) Craterosaurus, Regnosaurus Early Cretaceous 13 feet (4 m) long
Ankylosauria Nodosaurids (node lizards) Nodosaurus, Acanthopholis, Brachyspondosaurus, Edmontonia, Hoplitosaurus, Minmi, Hylaeosaurus, Polacanthus, Sauropelta, Struthiosaurus Mid-Jurassic - Late Cretaceous 6-25 feet (1.8-7.6 m) long
Ankylosaurids (fused lizards) Ankylosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Tarchia, Talarurus Early - Late Cretaceous 18-35 feet (5.5-10.7 m) long


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