Ornitholestes (Bird robber)
Henry Fairfield Osborn - 1903
Estimated 2 meters long
O. hermanni (type)
USA - Morrison Formation
Late Jurassic, 150 million years ago
Ornitholestes is a small theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago. Its name means “bird robber” in reference to the fact that its remains were found with those of a small bird-like dinosaur, suggesting that it may have been a predator of such animals.
Ornitholestes was a small bipedal dinosaur that grew to about 2 meters (6.6 feet) in length and weighed around 15-20 kilograms (33-44 pounds). It had long, slender hind legs and sharp claws on its feet for grasping and holding onto prey. Its arms were also relatively long, with three fingers that ended in sharp claws.
The skull of Ornitholestes was elongated and narrow, with numerous sharp, serrated teeth designed for slicing through flesh. It is believed that Ornitholestes may have fed on small mammals, lizards, and other small dinosaurs, including birds.
Despite its small size, Ornitholestes was likely a fierce and agile predator, using its speed and agility to catch its prey. It may have hunted in packs or alone, and may have used stealth to surprise its prey.
Ornitholestes is known from relatively few fossils, and its exact place in the dinosaur family tree is still debated. Some researchers believe that it was a member of the Coelurosauria group of theropod dinosaurs, which includes other small, bird-like dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Compsognathus.
In conclusion, Ornitholestes was a small, agile theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period. Its name, meaning “bird robber,” suggests that it may have been a predator of small bird-like dinosaurs. Although relatively little is known about Ornitholestes, its anatomy and behavior provide important clues about the diversity of life that existed on Earth millions of years ago.