Fun Aristosuchus Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Sep 24, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
One of the interesting Aristosuchus facts is that they are small theropod dinosaurs.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

Aristosuchus pusillus (Owen 1876) is a small coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur found in the Late Cretaceous period in England on the Isle of Wight. The names used as synonyms for the dinosaur are Poekilopleuron pusillus and Poekilopleuran minor. The new species Poekilopleuran pusillus was named by Richard Owen in 1876 which was later adjusted to P. minor by Edward Drinker Cope. It was then in 1879 that Harry Govier Seeley named the species in a distinct genus, Aristosuchus. The word 'suchus' is Ancient Greek for crocodile, and despite the fact that Seeley named the species based on a crocodile, it was actually a dinosaur. This dinosaur species shares a lot of its characteristics with birds. The dinosaur is considered as a small compsognathis similar to Compsognathus, although not enough fossils have been found to reconstruct the dinosaur. Their fossil representation consists of the femur, sacrum, pubis, and some vertebrae.

For more relatable content, check out these Austroraptor facts and Incisivosaurus facts for kids.

Aristosuchus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Aristosuchus'?

The name of this dinosaur, Aristosuchus, is pronounced as 'A-riss-toe-soo-kus'.

What type of dinosaur was an Aristosuchus?

The Aristosuchus pusillus (Owen 1876) was a small coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur.

In which geological period did Aristosuchus roam the earth?

The deposits of this dinosaur found from the Isle of Wight in England suggest that the dinosaur species existed in the Early Cretaceous period, around 125 million years ago.

When did Aristosuchus become extinct?

According to the notes on the fossils, it is believed that this dinosaur species became extinct around 122.46 million years ago.

Where did Aristosuchus live?

The Aristosuchus' fossils were found in England on the Isle of Wight. The species is believed to be living 125 million years ago on the Isle of Wight, known from the Wessex Formation.

What was the Aristosuchus' habitat?

The birds Aristosuchus' habitat is believed to be terrestrial. The Cretaceous period is known for a relatively warm climate that resulted in high eustatic sea levels, creating numerous shallow inland seas. These water bodies were populated with marine reptiles, ammonites, and rudists, which are all extinct now.

Who did Aristosuchus live with?

The Aristosuchus is believed to live along with the species like Iguanodon, Baryonyx, Valdosaurus, Hysilophodon, Hylaeosaurus, Ploacanthus, and Eotyrannus.

How long did an Aristosuchus live?

These birds, Aristosuchus', species lived on earth from the Barremian age to 122.46 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Like all other dinosaurs, the reproduction of Aristosuchus is believed to be oviparous. This means that they are believed to reproduce by laying eggs. It is also estimated that these species probably even used to take care of their young, like what birds in today's time do. 

Aristosuchus Fun Facts

What did Aristosuchus look like?

Aristosuchus was a bipedal and carnivore theropod dinosaour. To help in its carnivorous lifestyle, it had little but sharp needle-like teeth inside its jaws. These little teeth were perfect for them to snap up small animals like insects, lizards to eat. It is also estimated that they might have also been covered in downy feathers like Sinosauropteryx. Aristosuchus is known for its sacrum, pubis, femur, and few vertebrae bones. The compsognathid is also believed to have long claws based on the fact that the two ungual phalanges found nearby were from the same species. Also the femur of Aristosuchus has a wing like anterior trochnater. Aristosuchus is also very similar to its close relative, Compsognathus, in size and appearance. Due to this, some authors like Fox have also argued that they belong to the other genus. It is most often confused with Calamospondylus, and even Richard Lydekker assumed once that Aristosuchus was named Calamospondylus by Revere Willian D. Fox. However, Darren Naish confirmed that it is valis compsognathid based on its pubis bone. This compsognathid dinosaur shares its majority characteristics with birds.

The Aristosuchus are named after the Egyptian crocodile-headed god.
*We've been unable to source an image of Aristosuchus and have used an image of Coelurosaurs instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Aristosuchus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did an Aristosuchus have?

The exact number of bones for this compsognathid is not known; however, their fossil representation includes a sacrum, a pubis, a femur, and a few vertebrates. There were also two ungual phalanges, BMNH R179 and R899, found near the original fossils, and according to the notes on the fossils are believed to have belonged to the same species. Also, the femur of Aristosuchus has a wing-like anterior.

How did they communicate?

It is not known how exactly this dinosaur communicated with its species or other species. But it is believed that dinosaurs communicated vocally and visually. These two modes of communication would have been most used during defensive posturing, courtship behavior and territory fights. According to the same assumption, it is believed that the head crests of some species like Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus were used to amplify grunts or bellow.

How big was Aristosuchus?

The exact measurements regarding Aristosuchus' height and length are unknown; however, the Aristosuchus' size is estimated to be about 6.6 ft (2 m) long.

How fast could an Aristosuchus move?

Aristosuchus is known to be a bipedal and a swift mover, most probably so that they can easily and efficiently prey on other species.

How much did an Aristosuchus weigh?

The Aristosuchus weight based on the fossils collected is estimated to be weighed around 66.1 lb (30 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Aristosuchus?

Since the Aristosuchus reproduces by laying eggs and the new ones are born when the eggs hatch, the baby Aristosuchus can be called hatchling or nestling.

What did they eat?

This theropod dinosaur had a carnivorous lifestyle. They had needle-like teeth that helped them to snap up and eat small animals like frogs, insects, mammals, lizards, and early birds.

How aggressive were they?

There are no pieces of evidence yet that the Aristosuchus was aggressive in nature; however, given their meat-eating lifestyle, it must be safe to say that they might have little aggressive characteristics to them too.

Did you know...

The species, Aristosuchus pusillius, was first described in 1876 and named Poekilopleuron pusillus by Richard Owen. The specific epithet in Latin means 'small'. It was then in 1887 that the species was given the name Aristosuchus by Harry Govier Seeley in 1887.

Why are they called Aristosuchus?

Harry Govier Seeley named the species Aristosuchus in 1887, before which it was named as Poekilopleuron pusillus by Richard Owen. The name was derived from the Greek word ' ἄριστος ', meaning the bravest, best and noblest and the world 'σουχος', which is the Ancient Greek corruption of the name of the Egyptian crocodile-headed god Sobek. Even though their name is based upon an Egyptian crocodile-headed god, they share more characteristics with birds.

Could Aristosuchus fly?

Even though the Aristosuchus shares their characteristics mostly with birds, there are no pieces of evidence or information that can confirm if the Aristosuchus could actually fly or not.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Atlantosaurus interesting facts and Anserimimus surprising facts pages.

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

Main image by Michael B.H.

Aristosuchus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Frogs, insects, mammals, lizards, early birds

what Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Small dinosaurs with little but sharp teeth

How Much Did They Weigh?

66.1 lb (30 kg)

Skin Type

Probably feathers

How Long Were They?

6.6 ft (2 m)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Dinosauria

Genus

Aristosuchus

Family

Compsognathidae

Scientific Name

Aristosuchus pusillus

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial

Where Did They Live?

Isle of Wight
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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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