Leaellynasaura (Leaellyn’s lizard)
Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich – 1989
Estimated 1.5 meters long
L. amicagraphica (type)
Early Cretaceous, 115-110 million years ago
Leaellynasaura is a genus of small herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period in what is now Australia. The name Leaellynasaura honors Leaellyn Rich, the daughter of the Australian paleontologists Tom and Patricia Rich, who discovered the first fossil remains of this dinosaur.
Leaellynasaura had an estimated length of about 1.5 meters (5 feet) and weighed around 20-25 kilograms (45-55 pounds). It is known for having large eyes, which suggest that it may have been active during twilight or even at night. This is unusual among dinosaurs, which are generally thought to have been diurnal (active during the day).
The remains of Leaellynasaura have been found in several locations in Victoria, Australia, including Dinosaur Cove and the Otway Ranges. The discovery of this dinosaur has helped to increase our understanding of the diversity and evolution of dinosaurs in Australia during the Early Cretaceous period.