Hypsilophodon

The Hypsilophodon was one of the herbivores that lived during the Early Cretaceous approximately 100 years ago. They belonged to the family, Hypsilophodontidae, which has other species of ornithopods. The Hypsilophodons were one of the longest-surviving dinosaur families during the Late Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous periods.

Key facts

DomainDescription
Hypsilophodon pronunciationHip-sih-LOH-foh-don
What does Hypsilophodon mean?The name Hypsilophodon is often translated as “high-ridged tooth” , the literal meaning of the Hypsilophodon was derived from two Greek words which are ὑψίλοφος/hypsilophos, which means “high-crested”, refers to the back frill of a lizard and not the teeth of the Hypsilophodon, and the other Greek word Greek ὀδών/odon, which means “tooth”, the name Hypsilophodon means “high-crested tooth”.
Dinosaur typeOrnithopod
On the menuHerbivore
Length2.3m (7.5 feet)
Height0.6 m (2 feet)
Weight50kg (110 lbs)
Life expectancyThe life expectancy was about 15 years,
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedAround 15 mph (24 km/h)
When they livedThe Hypsilophodon lived during the Early Cretaceous period which was 115-110 million years ago.
Where they have been found?The Hypsilophodon has been found in Cowleaze Chine, located in England.

When & Where

The first specimen of the Hypsilophodon was found in Cowleaze Chine in 1849  by Reverend William Fox which included a skull and was described as a little different compared to the Iguanodon and 20 years after, the type species Hypsilophodon foxii was given by Thomas Henry Huxley, in honor of  William Fox. There are a great number of fossils that were discovered on the Isle of Wight which provided much-needed information on the skeletal figure of the dinosaur. 

Size & Weight

Wıth the discoveries made on the Isle of Wight, the Hypsilophodon was described as a small bipedal herbivore that reached up to 2.3m and weighs about 50 kilograms.

Mobility & Diet

Like most ornithopods, the Hypsilophodon was a herbivore. With its beak, the dinosaur was believed to have fed off plant materials during the Cretaceous Period. This type of dinosaur was also able to grasp food items that made it easier for them to eat.

Interesting Points

  • The Hypsilophodons existed from Lower Cretaceous Epoch to 100.5 million years ago.
  • 13 different specimens have been found by paleontologists.
  • The most interesting point about an Hypsilophodon is that they did not lose their premaxillary teeth as they grow, unlike most dinosaurs and that they also had four toes in each of their hind feet while other bipedal dinosaurs only had three.