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21 Dino-mite Telmatosaurus Facts That Kids Will Love

Unearth the secrets of prehistoric reptiles with the Tematosaurus facts.

The Telmatosaurus, which means 'marsh lizard', is a dinosaur genus of extinct ornithopods under the clade of Hadrosauromorpha. These dinosaurs were said to have lived during the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous period. The fossils of the holotype were found in the Sânpetru Formation of the Hateg Basin, then Hateg Island, in Romania.

The story of these dinosaurs is quite amusing. A group of peasants gifted a dinosaur skull to their Lord's daughter, Ilona Nopcsa, in 1895, and when she showed this to her brother, it inspired him to become a paleontologist. In 1899, Nopcsa coined the name Limnosaurus transsylvanicus for the same skull but realized later that it had already been used by another paleontologist. In 1903, Nopcsa chose a replacement name, Telmatosaurus.

After studies conducted on the hadrosauroid material, swamp-dwelling habits were speculated among these dinosaurs. They were small in size and with a herbivorous diet that included shrubs, herbaceous plants, seeds, leaves, and C3 plants. In addition, the discovery of a juvenile Telmatosaurus with a benign tumor led to the conclusion that these tumors, which were only known to form in modern reptiles and mammals, were a more basal characteristic than expected.

If you love reading about buried mysteries of ancient animals, check out the Chromogisaurus and the Zigongosaurus.

Telmatosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Telmatosaurus'? 

The word 'Telmatosaurus' is pronounced as 'Tel-mat-oh-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Telmatosaurus?

This genus is a member of the order of Ornithischia and is an Ornithopod Hadsosauromorph.

In which geological period did the Telmatosaurus roam the earth?

These dinosaurs were said to have roamed the earth during the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous temporal range.

When did the Telmatosaurus become extinct?

Based on the remains of this species, they are estimated to have gone extinct around 70-66 million years ago.

Where did a Telmatosaurus live? 

The first-ever discovered remains of these dinosaurs were found by a group of peasants at the Săcele estate of the Hunedoara district in Transylvania. The holotype of this genus was found in the Sânpetru Formation of the Hateg Basin, which was the Hateg Island during the Late Cretaceous period, in Romania.

What was a Telmatosaurus' habitat? 

Earlier evidence suggests that this dinosaur preferred living in swamps and marshes, but there are doubts about this theory suggesting they could have lived in a combination of swamps or marshes as well as other environments.

Who did a Telmatosaurus live with?

Not much is known about the lifestyle mannerisms of this dinosaur genus. However, they could have lived in herds considering most hadrosaurid dinosaurs were known to live in groups.

How long did a Telmatosaurus live?

The lifespan of these dinosaurs is unknown. However, the discovery of a benign tumor, known as ameloblastoma, suggested the dinosaurs who had one would have died before reaching adulthood. In addition, predators prey on weaker or less capable members of a herd, which leads to the speculation that the early demise of these dinosaurs could also be the result of predation.

How did they reproduce?

The exact reproduction method of this dinosaur is unknown. However, it is confirmed that they were oviparous and fertilization took place inside the mother's body. In addition, some speculated information about their reproductive behavior can be derived from the Hadrosaurid dinosaur community. Based on several discoveries of fossilized hadrosaur eggs, nesting grounds, and young ones, it is shown that they would migrate to different regions to reproduce. The presentation of the nest site has drawn conclusions that these dinosaurs chose places with thick vegetation and may have nurtured their young until they could fend for themselves. Fossils have shown that the young were fed leaves and fruits along with other plant material. One feature that may have been different between the Telmatosaurus and the other Hadrosaurids, is that the former was a basal Hadrosauromorph and much tinier than the other members of this superfamily. This means they may have been able to incubate their eggs themselves instead of adding vegetation to assist the process.

Telmatosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Telmatosaurus look like?

The overall description of the Telmatosaurus resembles a tiny Hadrosauromorph with a duck-billed mouth, short neck, bulky body, thick, tapering tail, slender hind legs, and shorter forelimbs.

These animals have a duck-billed skull, a feature noticed among all Hadrosaurids.

How many bones did a Telmatosaurus have?

The exact number of bones in the body of this dinosaur genus is unknown. The genus name and classification was based on a skull, caudal vertebrae, and a femur.

How did they communicate?

The communication pattern of these dinosaurs is unknown.

How big was a Telmatosaurus? 

The Telmatosaurus size is estimated to be 16 ft (5 m) in length, which is twice the length of an electric eel, and 5.9 ft (1.8 m) in height, which slightly bigger than the goliath heron.

How fast could a Telmatosaurus move?

Although it is confirmed that these were bipedal dinosaurs, the speed at which they could walk or run is unknown.

How much did a Telmatosaurus weigh?

The weight of this dinosaur would have approximately been 1,100 lb (500 kg) which is around the same as the West Indian manatee.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and female dinosaurs did not have separate names. The genus is named Telmatosaurus and both sexes share a common binomial name, T. transsylvanicus. Initially, Nopcsa named it Limnosaurus transsylvanicus, but the was replaced because it was already in use. Later, Nopcsa tried changing it to Orthomerus transsylvanicus, but the name was considered Nomen dubium.

What would you call a baby Telmatosaurus?

The young ones of this species can be called juveniles because they do not have a separate name.

What did they eat? 

Based on evidence and considering it is a hadrosauromorph dinosaur, their diet was entirely herbivorous. They fed on herbaceous plants, leaves, seeds, and shrubs. Scientific research suggests, like Asian and African and Asian elephants, they fed on plants with a C3 carbon fixation metabolic pathway, for example, cool-season grasses, alfalfa, and timothy.

How aggressive were they?

Since this genus of the Late Cretaceous is a member of Hadrosauridomorpha, they were plant-eaters and mostly did not display aggressive behavior unless triggered or threatened.

Did you know...

Through evolution, the Telmatosaurus genus went through insular dwarfism, which means they grew smaller so that their bodies would not require too much energy.

The Balaur bondoc is speculated to have predated on young, sick, or injured Telmatosaurus.

What does 'Telmatosaurus' mean?

The word 'Telma' means 'marsh' which was used because of the speculated marshland habitats of this dinosaur. Hence, the genus name 'Telmatosaurus', meaning 'marsh lizard' seemed like a perfect match.

What continent did the Telmatosaurus live on?

During the Early Cretaceous epoch, this dinosaur was found on the then Hateg Island in the Tethys Sea. In the modern-day, their fossils were found in the Sânpetru Formation of the Hateg Basin situated in Romania.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Draconyx facts and Albertadromeus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable baseball dinosaur coloring pages.

Image one by Ghedo.

Image two by Debivort at English Wikipedia.

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