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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

17 Dino-mite Xiaosaurus Facts That Kids Will Love

Here are some interesting Xiaosaurus facts for you to fascinate yourself with today!

Xiaosaurus dashanpensis (Dong and Tang), or the dawn lizard is the type species of the genus Xiaosaurus. This wonderous plant eating dinosaur is estimated to have inhabited earth during the Middle Jurassic period, around 163 - 169 million years ago. Since the fossils have only been found in modern day China, the species is speculated to have been endemic to the land.

These small creatures had a small size, herbivorous diet, and the tendency to live in large packs. The characteristics that best define this herbivore are features such as a small height that could only reach a low lying plant, beak like mouth with cheek teeth, and small forelimbs.

This herbivore is a typical member of the family of ornithischians, and feels like a fresh breath of air against the scary picture painted by the other larger dinosaurs of the Jurassic period.

For more relatable content, check out Sphaerotholus and Atlascopcosaurus.

Xiaosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Xiaosaurus'?

The name of this herbivore is pronounced as 'chow-saw-rus', and fossil remains of the animal have been only discovered rather recently.

What type of dinosaur was a Xiaosaurus?

The Xiaosaurus was an Ornithopod, or a lizard-like dinosaur that lived during the middle Jurassic period.

In which geological period did the Xiaosaurus roam the earth?

The geological period during which these dinosaurs existed was in the Middle Jurassic. If you are wondering how long ago that was, you will be astounded to know that the Middle Jurassic period dates back to 163 - 169 million years ago!

When did the Xiaosaurus become extinct?

No data or content is available that can tell us when these lizard-like dinosaurs became extinct.

Where did a Xiaosaurus live?

The Xiaosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur species, and hence, it is safe to assume that it would have preferred to live around dense forests and vegetations. Moreover, since the fossils of these dinosaurs suggest that they had small legs and feet, it is tough to imagine that they would do well in areas that did not have a lot of low lying plants.

What was a Xiaosaurus's habitat?

The fossils of Xiaosaurus or the "dawn lizard" have been found in modern day China, near the Sichuan Basin to be particular. Since fossils of the genus are yet to be found in any other areas of the world, paleontologists are of the belief that these dinosaurs were endemic to the land.

Who did a Xiaosaurus live with?

The type species of this dinosaur is speculated to be one that would thrive best in large packs. Since these dinosaurs are thought to be quite fast, plant eaters, and of small size, it is likely that more than just one Xiaosaurus would be seen at any one instance.

How long did a Xiaosaurus live?

The average lifespan of the Xiaosaurus is yet to be estimated through any evidence or fossil.

How did they reproduce?

Dinosaurs are known to have been oviparous, which means that the Xiaosaurus, as well, reproduced by laying eggs. The size of the Xiaosaurus eggs, the courting or nesting habits of the type species, however, are not known.

Xiaosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Xiaosaurus look like?

This dinosaur of the Middle Jurassic period is known to have been small in both length and in weight. The type species from China is said to have had four feet, the forelimbs were small, while the feet at the hind side of the dinosaur were long and were used for running.

The lightweight of the genus is also suggestive of them being fast at running. The classification of this plant eating genus is also proof of the fact that these animals had leaf like teeth on the inner lining of their cheeks.

Xiaosaurus was a small dinosaur genus, with a beaked mouth.
*Please note that this is the illustration of a Trinisaura which is a member of the same order as Xiaosaurus. If you have the illustration of a Xiaosaurus, let us know at [email protected] 

How many bones did a Xiaosaurus have?

The exact number of bones that the average Xiaosaurus had is not known, since the entire skeletal figure of the dawn lizard is yet to be found.

How did they communicate?

The exact call or sound of the Xiaosaurus is not known, although, since these ornithopods are known to have thrived in large packs, it is likely that they had a way of communicating within the species.

How big was a Xiaosaurus?

Xiaosaurus dashanpensis (Dong and Tang) was a small, plant eating ornithopod. The average Xiaosaurus would be 3-4 ft (1-2 m) long and about 3.3 ft (1 m) tall. A body of such length makes this lizard like dinosaur a rather small animal in the array of animals that have lived during the Middle Jurassic period.

How fast could a Xiaosaurus move?

While the exact speed at which the Xiaosaurus lizard could move is not known, however, it is speculated that they could move at a staggering speed. While speed was not essential for the plant based diet of the dinosaur species, it helped these animals in escaping predatory animals.

How much did a Xiaosaurus weigh?

The weight of an average Xiaosaurus or dawn lizard would be around 15 lb (7 kg), and is at par with the weight of other ornithopod dinosaurs such as Alocodon, Gongbusaurus, Lufengocephalus, and Nanosaurus.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Since there are no male and female names for the Xiaosaurus dinosaurs, we have resorted to referring to them as the Xiaosaurus male and Xiaosaurus female respectively.

What would you call a baby Xiaosaurus?

Since dinosaurs are believed to have been oviparous, the baby Xiaosaurus would be called a hatchling!

What did they eat?

The diet of the dawn lizard or Xiaosaurus is said to have been intensively plant based. These herbivores would feed on low lying plants and other foliage, die to their small height.

How aggressive were they?

Known to be a species that thrived in large packs, it is highly unlikely that Xiaosaurus dashanpensis (Dong and Tang) would have been an aggressive species.

Did you know...

The Xiaosaurus dinosaur existed 169-163 million years ago, during the Middle Jurassic period!

This herbivore from the Middle Jurassic period is known to have had four feet, however, it only used two!

Is Xiao a lizard?

The Xiaosaurus is a dinosaur of the past that had lizard like features, which is typical of ornithischian dinosaurs.

What does a Xiaosaurus look like? 

A typical Xiaosaurus is classified as an ornithopod because of the bird like hips and lizard like length of its body. These animals had a beaked mouth, four feet, and leaf shaped cheek teeth. The hind feet of these dinosaurs were used for running, while the forelimbs were much smaller in length. These animals were also herbivorous, which explains why they did not require sharp claws or teeth to satisfy their diet.

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.

Second image by Levi bernardo.

*Please note that this is the illustration of a Nipponosaurus, which is of the same order as Xiaosaurus. If you have the illustration of a Xiaosaurus, let us know at [email protected] 

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