Fun Arkansaurus Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Oct 20, 2022 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Find out the most amazing 15 Arkansaurus facts for your kids and family.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

The Arkansaurus, known as the oldest state dinosaur in North America in science history, is named after Arkansas where it was discovered. It had small arms and walked on four legs, much like the modern-day kangaroo. The Arkansaurus fridayi discovery first happened in Arkansas by an amateur fossil hunter named Quinn who found fossils of this dinosaur near Little Rock at the Hindsville Limestone Quarry during science-related excavations for limestone blocks to build bridges over interstate highways. You may have never heard of this state dinosaur but Arkansaurus is actually the official state fossil. This specific species lived during the Early Cretaceous period and has been found at the University of Arkansas, USA. One interesting feature about this particular dinosaur genus was its strong arms which could be used to dig up insects or grasp onto tree branches while climbing around forests millions of years ago. The Arkansaurus, a type of state dinosaur that lived about 80 million years ago in the south-central United States, is known for its long tail and neck. This dinosaur of Arkansas had very small arms but large claws on each hand. Its teeth were well adapted for grinding up tough plant material like leaves, twigs, and branches as other herbivores do today such as cows and horses so they could digest their food better. Existing fossil fragments along with additional discoveries made throughout since the first fossil was discovered by James H Quinn and Rebecca Hunt have been used to identify a related skeleton of the Arkansaurus which shows scientific variations between individuals likely due to different sexes or growth stages, suggesting multiple animals. In the 1970s, Arkansas professor John Ben Friday stumbled upon a jawbone of the Arkansaurus which helped in forming the skeleton structure.

Find more relatable and exciting facts about the Staurikosaurus and the Dacentrurus for kids!

Arkansaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Arkansaurus'?

When it comes to pronouncing the word Arkansaurus, there are two schools of thought. Some people pronounce this name like 'Ar-Kan-Sawr-Us', while others say ‘Ark' - An’ - Sauros'.

What type of dinosaur was an Arkansaurus?

Were you wondering what the Arkansaurus fridayi of Arkansas was? It's an ornithomimosaurian theropod. Ornithomimus is one type of dinosaur, and it lived during the Cretaceous period; therefore, so did its relatives like the Dromiceiomimus from Canada.

In which geological period did the Arkansaurus roam the earth?

The Arkansaurus fridayi was a state dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period.

When did the Arkansaurus become extinct?

The Arkansaurus became extinct between 1.8 million and 5,000 years ago.

Where did an Arkansaurus live?

An Arkansaurus fridayi was a state dinosaur that used to live on what is now the American continent during prehistoric times, but it's unknown where exactly they might have settled down as fossils and dinosaur bones (probably in the University of Arkansas) are only found from North and South America at this time.

What was an Arkansaurus' habitat?

We don't know where an Arkansaurus fridayi lived because they are extinct. They likely roamed near forests and land!

Who did an Arkansaurus live with?

The Arkansaurus fridayi was a primitive type of Arkansas dinosaur with state symbols that lived on the land about 70 million years ago in North America and Utah during an era known as the Early Cretaceous period and shared its world with many other types of large "lizards." These included the Allosaurus and the Gigantoraptor which were both predators but also had herbivore traits like chewing and walking upright.

How long did an Arkansaurus live?

An Arkansaurus fridayi would have lived anywhere from 40-60 years. It is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the sex of the state dinosaur and where it was located within that time frame. For example, if an Arkansaurus was found in Arkansas then its lifespan could be much longer than the lifespan of an Arkansaurus at the Arkansas Dinosaur National Monument because conditions were different throughout history for each location.

How did they reproduce?

The question of how the Arkansaurus fridayi reproduced is an interesting one. The neck frill and powerful shoulder muscles allowed for great strength when fighting with other dinosaurs over territory or food sources in order to attract mates and keep the Arkansaurus egg safe and sound.

Arkansaurus Fun Facts

What did an Arkansaurus look like?

An Arkansaurus fridayi is a type of state dinosaur that roamed the Earth some 130 million years ago during an era known as the Early Cretaceous period. They were plant-eaters and had long necks, small heads, short tails, and strong limbs with five toes on each foot. Many fossils and Arkansas dinosaur bones have been found since the early 20th century when large pieces of petrified wood containing mostly bone fragments were discovered by James H Quinn and Rebecca Hunt while studying vertebrate paleontology. The Arkansaurus was a large bipedal state dinosaur, as suggested by fossils and remains, that lived in what is now modern-day Arkansas. Fossils and remains revealed it had long hind legs and short forearms, which suggests it would have been an excellent jumper or runner. In the 1970s, Arkansas professor John Ben Friday stumbled upon a jawbone of the Arkansaurus which helped in forming the skeleton structure.

This dinosaur had strong flexible bones in each foot that helped it hunt down prey.
*We've been unable to source an image of the Arkansaurus and have used an image of the Heeterodontosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of the Arkansaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did an Arkansaurus have?

One day in the 1970s, Arkansas professor John Ben Friday stumbled upon a jawbone of the Arkansus which helped in forming the skeleton structure. When a paleontologist named Dr. Jack Horner along with Rebecca Hunt was studying vertebrate paleontology and fossil remains, he discovered that the Arkansaurus had 200 dinosaur bones in its body! He also observed that the Arkansaurus bone was very strong after studying related fossil remains!

How did they communicate?

The Arkansaurus fridayi had a special way of communicating. Although we don't know the exact scientific details, it is likely that their vocalizations were much less sophisticated than those used by modern reptiles like crocodiles or lizards because they are believed to have lost their external ears and therefore couldn’t hear as well. In order to communicate more effectively with each other, the Arkansaurus probably relied on visual signals such as bobbing heads or moving tails in addition to sound-based cues from noises produced within an organ.

How big was an Arkansaurus?

The Arkansaurus fridayi was a state dinosaur that lived 66 million years ago. These dinosaurs grew to be around 14 ft (4.3 m) long and 10 ft (3 m) tall, which is about the size of an elephant today!

How fast could an Arkansaurus move?

This particular species walked on all fours at speeds around 8 to 10 mph (16.1 kph) while running up to 25 mph (40.2 kph) for short periods of time before its muscles hurt too much from fatigue or it overheated (heat stroke).

How much did an Arkansaurus weigh?

The Arkansaurus fridayi, one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered by James H. Quinn, weighed 440.9 lb (200 kg) and lived in what is now Arkansas.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Both females and males are known as Arkansaurus!

What would you call a baby Arkansaurus?

These baby dinosaurs are popularly known as baby Arkansaurus.

What did they eat?

It is believed these dinosaurs loved to hunt fish, birds, eggs, insects, and smaller dinosaurs!

How rare were they?

It was discovered in the 1960s and scientists were unable to find any evidence of it, but they did discover some footprints. They are believed to be rare because there have been no more than 500 specimens found since then.

Did you know...

Arkansaurus are used as state symbols for the state of Arkansas. The first record was found in 1871 and since then there have been several more records submitted to prove they exist today.

The Arkansaurus is the state dinosaur of which state?

The state of Arkansas has recently, in 2017, been building up excitement about its new mascot, the Arkansaurus. This dinosaur is the official state dinosaur for Arkansas and what a great one it is!

Who discovered the Arkansaurus?

In the 1970s, Arkansas professor John Ben Friday spent many summers looking through mudflats in search of fossil remains but had not yet been successful until one day when he saw something sticking out that made him stop dead in his tracks. It turned out to be part of an enormous jawbone which later helped form the Arkansaurus skeleton!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Yinlong facts, or Crichtonsaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

Arkansaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fish, birds, eggs, insects, and smaller dinosaurs

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?

440.9 lb (200 kg)

Skin Type

Thick scales

How Long Were They?

14 ft (4.3 m)

How Tall Were They?

10 ft (3 m)









Scientific Name

Arkansaurus fridayi

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grass plains, mountains, forests, and tundras

Where Did They Live?

Arkansas, Utah, University of Arkansas, and North America
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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