Fun Dino-mite Hypsilophodont Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 29, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Sep 24, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
One of the interesting Hypsilophodont facts is that they were named by Thomas Huxley, who is also known as 'Darwin's Bulldog'
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

The Hypsilophodontidae or Hypsilophodontia is a traditionally used family of ornithopod dinosaurs that are not considered valid today. The ornithopod dinosaur family, although historically, included many small and bipedal neornithischian taxa from around the world that were found from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous period. This was, however, supported in the 1990s and 2000s by some phylogenetic analyses. Still, recently it was found that this family has an unnatural grouping and should include only one type genus, Hypsilophodon. In a 2014 analysis, Norman recovered the grouping of Hypsilophodon and referred to it as Hypsilophodontia. The dinosaur had long legs, and their legs were flexible and capable enough to gain speed sufficient to evade predators. They also had a long tail to help them balance while running. Another important part of their physiology was their small front legs, which they could have used like hands to hold or grasp vegetation. These dinosaurs are believed to have a plant-based diet which probably included indigenous plants from that time like conifers, herbaceous seed plants, and club ferns. However, some paleontologists speculate that the dinosaur might have been an omnivore instead. They argue that the dinosaur, under that condition, might have had insects and small reptiles as part of their diet as well.

For more relatable content, check out these Sauropelta facts and Harpactognathus facts for kids.

Hypsilophodont Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Hypsilophodont'?

A Hypsilophodont is a group of an ornithischian dinosaurs, which is pronounced as 'hyp-si-​loph-​o-​dont'.

What type of dinosaur was a Hypsilophodont?

Hypsilophodontids are a group or family of small ornithopod dinosaurs.

In which geological period did the Hypsilophodont roam the earth?

The remains of the family of these Hypsilophodon dinosaurs are estimated to be living in the world during the early Cretaceous period, approximately 125 million years ago.

When did Hypsilophodont become extinct?

According to the fossils, it has been approximated that the Hypsilodon dinosaur must have gone extinct around 121 million years ago, around the late Cretaceous period.

Where did Hypsilophodont live?

According to the Hypsilophodont fossils, it has been concluded that the species must have lived in what is present-day North America and Europe.

What was the Hypsilophodont' habitat?

The Hypsilophodont' are believed to live in a terrestrial habitat. According to many studies done on dinosaur species, it has been found that most dinosaurs preferred living along ancient rivers and streams. They would roam in forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps and lakes.

Who did Hypsilophodont live with?

Hyspilophodontids lived through the Cretaceous period along with other species like iguanodontids and hadrosaurs.

How long did Hypsilophodont live?

The Hypsilophodon dinosaurs are believed to have lived from the early to the late Cretaceous period, approximately 125-121 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Like all other dinosaurs, the reproduction of Hypsilophodon is believed to be oviparous. This means that they are believed to reproduce by laying eggs.

Hypsilophodont Fun Facts

What did Hypsilophodont look like?

The Hypsilophodon of the family Hypsilophodontidae had a horned beak and a small skull which was around 5 in (12.7 cm) long. They are also believed to have dozens of cheek teeth in their jaws. These cheek teeth are believed to be razor-sharp and were capable of sharpening themselves as they would dull. Their razor-sharp teeth allowed them to eat even the toughest plant material available then. Besides that, their fossil also suggests that they were bipedal, which means that they could walk and run on two legs.

Hypsilophodont has razor-sharp cheek teeth.

How many bones did a Hypsilophodont have?

It is hard to say exactly how many bones Hypsilophodon had. Still, since its first discovery, there were dozens of fossils found and preserved for this dinosaur around the world to form an understandable skeleton, especially in places like South Dakota in North America and parts of Europe.

How did they communicate?

It is not known that how exactly the Hypsilophodon 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, etc. 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 were Hypsilophodont?

According to the estimated measurements for the Hypsilophodont' size, it should be as tall as a human male. However, to give a better idea, the measurements are calculated at around 6 ft (1.8 m) in length, and Hypsilophodont' height should be around 2 ft (0.6 m).

How fast could a Hypsilophodont move?

The Hypsilophodon are bipedal dinosaurs that can walk and run with two legs. It is believed that a Hypsilophodon can run as fast as an ostrich. The speed would have come really handy for them while escaping their predator animals.

How much did a Hypsilophodont weigh?

The weight of the Hypsilophodon is estimated to be approximately 150 lb (68 kg). To give an idea, it is estimated to be as heavy as, for example, a large dog.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The female and male dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Hypsilophodont?

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?

The Hypsilphodont were herbivorous dinosaurs. They relied on plant material and vegetation for food and followed a strict herbivore diet. However, some paleontologists argue that Hypsilophodont might have also relied on insects and small reptiles for food.

How aggressive were they?

It is not known if Hypsilophodont was aggressive or not. However, given their herbivorous diet, it might be safe to assume that they were not exactly aggressive animals.

Did you know...

The Hypsilophodont group also features in the 'Jurassic Park' franchise. The group called Hysilophodontids are represented in both the Jurassic Park books by Michael Crichton; however, it is unclear what exact species present in the novels belonged to this group. Five years after publishing these books, Micheal Crichton released his novel 'The Lost World' in 1995. In 'The Lost World', there is an actual member of the Hypsilophodon genus features in the novel, specifically mentioned on page 176.

What does Hypsilophodont mean?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Hypsilophodont means 'a small bipedal herbivorous dinosaur of the middle Jurassic to late Cretaceous periods, adapted for swift running'.

Who discovered the Hypsilophodont?

Hypsilophodont was originally discovered in the 19th century but was first discovered on the Isle of Wright in 1849. The species was named by Thomas Henry Huxley, also known as 'Darwin's Bulldog', who was an English biologist and anthropologist who specialized in comparative anatomy. He worked in the department of paleontology for the initial years of his career before he started advocation on the subject of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Huxley named the species Hypsilophodon because the name means 'high crested tooth' based on the front teeth of the animal.

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 Telmatosaurus facts and Prosaurolophus facts pages.

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

Dino-mite Hypsilophodont Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plant and vegetation

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Small dinosaurs

How Much Did They Weigh?

150 lb (68 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

6 ft (1.8 m)

How Tall Were They?

2 ft (0.6 m)






Subgroups: Hypsilophodon; Tenontosaurus; Rhabdodontidae



Scientific Name

Synonyms: Hypsilophodontinae Nopcsa; Hypsilophodontia Cooper

What Were Their Main Threats?

Bigger dinosaurs

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial habitat

Where Did They Live?

North America and Europe
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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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