Valdosaurus (Weald lizard)
Peter M. Galton - 1977
Estimated 3 meters long
V. canaliculatus (type)
Early Cretaceous, 140 million years ago
Valdosaurus is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, around 140 million years ago, in what is now Europe. Its name comes from the Weald, a region of England where many of its fossils have been found.
Valdosaurus was a small- to medium-sized dinosaur, estimated to have been around 3 meters (10 feet) long and weighing up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds). It was a herbivore, with a beak-like mouth and hundreds of small, leaf-shaped teeth for grinding up plant material.
Valdosaurus is known from several partial skeletons and isolated bones, which have provided important information about its anatomy and biology. One interesting feature of Valdosaurus is its long tail, which was longer than the rest of its body and may have been used for balance or communication.
Valdosaurus is also noteworthy because it is one of the earliest known members of the iguanodontian group of ornithopods, which includes some of the most diverse and successful herbivorous dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period. Its discovery has helped to shed light on the early evolution of this group, and the factors that led to their success and diversity in later periods.
Overall, Valdosaurus was a fascinating dinosaur that provides important insights into the diversity and evolution of ornithopod dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous period, and their role as important herbivores in the ecosystems of the time.