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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

Tethyshadros: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Here are some interesting Tethyshadros facts that will tell you all about the holotype specimen, site of discovery, and appearance!

Tethyshadros insularis is the name of the only species of the Tethyshadros genus. This specimen of this species was discovered in Italy, at a site called Villagio del Pescatore. This animal is estimated to have lived on an island of the then Tethys ocean, and interestingly, had reached therefrom Asia through island hopping.

This rather small member of the family Hadrosauridae is characterized by its platypus like beak and padded forelimbs. Interestingly, in spite of being one of the smallest dinosaurs in the family, this dinosaur could actually reach a length of about 15 ft (4.5 m)!

Tethyshadros Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Tethyshadros'?

The name of this dinosaur genus is pronounced as 'tef-iss-had-ross'.

What type of dinosaur was a Tethyshadros?

The Tethysahdros genus and its only type species are understood to be an Ornithischian dinosaur of the class Hadrosauroidea.

In which geological period did the Tethyshadros roam the earth?

The geological period during which the Tethyshadros tread the surface of the earth is the Campanian Maastrichtian period, which dates back to around 70 - 71 million years ago! The fossil remains have been found in areas of the upper cretaceous of Italy

When did the Tethyshadros become extinct?

The exact timeline of the extinction of these dinosaurs cannot be predicted due to the sheer lack of evidence that has been discovered as of yet.

Where did a Tethyshadros live?

While it is quite impossible to achieve utmost accuracy when talking about the climatic and environmental conditions that these dinosaurs may have preferred to live in, it can be assumed from the fact that this was a herbivorous genus that these dinosaurs would have enjoyed living in areas that had heavy vegetation such as a forest or grass plains. Since they were considered small, it can also be assumed that an average Tethyshadros would steer clear of living near any areas that did not have low-lying plants.

What was a Tethyshadros' habitat?

The holotype, as well as other supporting specimens of fossil remains of the Tethyshadros, have been found at a site in modern day Italy, known as the Liburnia formation. The discovery of the fossil remains in this site is reminiscent of the fact that these dinosaurs inhabited the larger islands of the European Archipelago. It is speculated that these dinosaurs came to live in the islands of the Tethys ocean or Europe by island hopping!

Who did a Tethyshadros live with?

While there is no evidence that would be able to tell us the behavior that the typical Tethyshadros insularis (Dalla Vecchia) would exhibit when in a society with others of the same species, it can be assumed from the fact that these European inhabitants were herbivorous, they might have also preferred to live in packs. A large pack in the European Archipelago, or in an island in the Tethys ocean would give them the sense of being protected against the many large dinosaurs that also inhabited the same islands.

How long did a Tethyshadros live?

The lifespan of the average Tethyshadros insularis (Fabio Dalla Vecchia) is yet to be estimated through any study. However, the holotype specimen, a skeleton nicknamed Antonio, is estimated to have been around five to six years old at the time of its death and subsequent fossilization.

How did they reproduce?

Ever since the discovery of fossilized dinosaurs, paleontologists have freely assumed that these animals from the past were oviparous. This means that these hadrosaurs also reproduced through laying eggs. Although, unfortunately, the holotype skeleton or other fossil remains can hardly tell us the courting habits of these European dinosaurs, or any such details that we find freely about modern day animals!

Tethyshadros Fun Facts 

What did a Tethyshadros look like?

Tethyshadros is characterized by a set of features that are typical to the family of Hadrosauridae. These dinosaurs were comparatively smaller than the other members of the rest of the family. The small Tethyshadros size gave them the ability to be quite fast and agile, which was fortunate for the herbivorous species.

These dinosaurs had platypus like bills and padded forelimbs. The hind limbs were longer and stronger. The tail of this species is known to have been very long, measuring up to 8.2 ft (2.5 m).

The holotype specimen, found at the site called Villagio del Pescatore, is called Antonio.

How many bones did a Tethyshadros have?

Since even the holotype specimen of the Tethyshadros is not a complete skeleton, paleontologists are yet to make an estimate as to how many bones the fully grown dinosaur of this genus would have.

How did they communicate?

It is not known if the Tethyshadros genus was loud or not, however, since ornithischians are known to have lived in large packs, it is likely that these dinosaurs had a language that they could use within the community.

How big was a Tethyshadros?

Even though the skeleton found at Villagio del Pescatore was incomplete, the length of the body of a Tethyshadros dinosaur is estimated to be around 15 ft (4 m). While they are considered small in comparison to American hadrosaurs such as Edmontosaurus, Trachodon, Lambeosaurus, and Iguanodon.

How fast could a Tethyshadros move?

The exact speed of the genus Tethyshadros is not known, however, the body length and ratio that has been studied from the skeleton found at Villagio del Pescatore in Italy has been estimated that the type species was capable of running very fast. It must have been fortunate for them to have been capable of moving fast, since modern day Europe is said to have much larger dinosaurs that were ferociously carnivorous.

How much did a Tethyshadros weigh?

The weight of an average Tethyshadros dinosaur is said to be around 770 lb (350 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Since there are no specified names for the two sexes of this island dinosaur, we have resorted to referring to them as the male Tethyshadros and female Tethyshadros respectively. It is also worth noting that the two sexes have not yet been morphologically distinguished by palaeontologists.

What would you call a baby Tethyshadros?

Since dinosaurs are known to have been oviparous, the juvenile of this island species of dinosaurs would be called a hatchling!

What did they eat?

The diet of the Tethyshadros, like most other ornithischians, consisted of plants and other such vegetation. The species (Tethyshadros insularis) is known to have been herbivorous, like the rest of the order.

How aggressive were they?

Since the type species is said to have been herbivorous by paleontologists such as Giorgio Rimoli and Alceo Tarlao, it is unlikely that the Tethyshadros dinosaurs would have been aggressive. Aggression is hardly found in animals that prefer to live in large packs, and the same applies to our ancient friends as well!

Did you know...

Tethyshadros insularis (Fabio Dalla Vecchia) is named after the place where it is estimated to have been inhabited during the Campanian Maastrichtian period. Tethys is the name of the ocean near modern day Europe and it is estimated that these dinosaurs lived in one of the larger islands there. Insularis, on the other hand, has been derived from the Latin word. Island, in Latin, means insular.

The holotype specimen of the dinosaur species was nicknamed Antonio. The discovery of the almost complete skeleton was made in 1999, by a team led by Fabio Dalla Vecchia.

What did a duck billed dinosaur look like?

Duck billed dinosaurs such as Saurolophinae were hadrosaurs, much like Tethyshadros. However, Tethyshadros is said to have been more primitive than the former. As the name suggests, the duck-billed hadrosaurs had beak shaped mouths and padded forelimbs.

What dinosaur has a platypus bill?

Tethysaurus, in spite of belonging to the family of Hadrasauridae which is known for the duck-like bills, has a bill that resembles that of a modern day platypus instead! The name of the site where the most amount Tethyshadros, such as the holotype called Antonio, have been found is called Villagio del Pescatore, in Italy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover!

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

Main image by Andreone93 and second image by Nobu Tamura.

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