The Hungarosaurus was a herbivorous nodosaurid ankylosaur that lived in the Upper Cretaceous period in what is today the Bakony Mountains in western Hungary.  Estimated to have lived roughly 86 million years ago, it was the most complete ankylosaur discovered in Hungary and all of Europe to date.

Key Facts

Hungarosaurus pronunciationHun-gar-o-sore-us
What does Hungarosaurus mean?Lizard from Hungary
Dinosaur typeAnkylosaur
On the menuHerbivore
Length 13-16 ft (4-4.8 m)
Height4.3 ft (1.3 m)
Weight1.1 Tons
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedUpper Cretaceous, 86 million years ago
Where they have been found?Hungary

When & Where

The first Hungarosaurus remains were discovered at the Kelebia site in the Bakony Mountains, Hungary, in 2001 by Andras Torma. These remains were excavated from the marlstone and claystone of the Csehbánya Formation where remains of turtles, lizards, pterosaurs, and teeth from dromaeosaurid-like dinosaurs. 

The bones were found scattered over a wide area, which has led to the idea that Hungarosaurus was a migratory animal, that may have died after crossing the river (Kelenfold) at the bottom of the canyon. The Hungarian name “Hungarosaurus” derives from “Hungaria“, the Latin word for Hungary, and the Greek “sauros” (σαυρος), meaning “lizard”. The specific name,”tormai” honors Andras Torma, the geologist who discovered the remains.

Size & Weight

The Hungarosaurus was a relatively small-sized dinosaur measuring around 13-16 ft in length and weighing up to 1.1 short tonnes. It is believed that this is a result of the phenomena known as island dwarfing, as during the Cretaceous period the region where Hungarosaurus lived was primarily covered by a shallow sea with many small islands.

Mobility & Diet

Due to the Hungarosaurus’s leg morphology, scientists were able to deduce that it had uncommon ankylosaur limb proportions. The hind legs were fairly lengthy, and the shoulder and hip were covered in large spikes. However, the species was still barely 13–16 feet long. 

Interesting Points

  • Hungarosaurus was first described by paleontologist Atilla Osi in 2005.
  • The Hungarosaurus was an armored dinosaur, part of the Ankylosaur family. 
  • It lived in what is now modern-day Hungary alongside dinosaurs such as Allosaurus and Polacanthus, as well as many smaller animals, such as turtles and lizards.
  • Fossilized Hungarosaurus footprints were also found near the village of Csehbánya (today part of Ózd, Hungary).

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