The Hippodraco was a medium-sized herbivore that roamed the plains of North America during the Lower Cretaceous Period. This four-legged reptile was an iguanodontian, and therefore related to the likes of the Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus. This dinosaur gets its name from the Greek words “hippos” meaning “horse” and “draco” meaning “dragon“. This is in reference to its similar appearance to the creatures.

Key Facts

Hippodraco pronunciationHip-po-dray-co
What does Hippodraco mean?Horse Dragon
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivorous
Length14.7 feet (4.5 meters)
Height5 feet (1.5 meters)
Weight880 lb (400 kg)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadruped
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedLower Cretaceous, 124 million years ago
Where they have been found?USA

When & Where

The first Hippodraco remains were discovered in the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation in Emery County, Utah, USA. This formation dates back to the Early Cretaceous Period, around 124 million years ago. During this time, the Earth was going through a warming trend, and therefore the climate was much hotter and more humid than it is today. They would have roamed across lush, green plains, amongst other iguanodontian dinosaurs and early mammals.

Size & Weight

The Hippodraco was a medium-sized dinosaur, measuring around 14.7 feet in length and 5 feet in height. This dino weighed in at around 880 lb, making it one of the smaller iguanodontians.

Mobility & Diet

The Hippodraco was quadrupedal, meaning that it got around on four legs. It is thought that this dino had a relatively high top speed, although we don’t know exactly how fast it could go. It was a herbivore and would have fed on plants and vegetation.

Interesting Points

  • At around the same time and place that the Hippodraco was discovered, scientists also discovered the remains of the Iguanacolossus. This was a much larger relative of the Hippodraco, measuring up to 30 feet in length!
  • The Hippodraco skull was elongated with a horse-like snout, giving this dino its name.
  • The Hippodraco was one of the first dinosaurs to be discovered in Utah.

Featured Image Credit: Lukas Panzarin, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons