Fun Ornithodesmus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Apr 01, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Ornithodesmus facts talk about the type species Ornithodesmus cluniculus!

Ornithodesmus was first discovered with a specimen number of BMNH R187 in the Wessex Formation of Brook Bay. It is known to be a theropod dinosaur. 

Even though Ornithodesmus is considered to be a theropod dinosaur, it also comes under the family of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs along with pterosaur species. These were small theropod categories compared to the predators belonging in the same period.

They belonged to the Early Cretaceous period. The category of saurischian dinosaurs, however, is considered to be carnivores, but they often fell prey to large pterosaurs and other carnivorous dinosaurs of this particular species.

The fossils which have been discovered have only been identified, and nothing concrete has developed since. The extinction of this species is still unknown, and there is still no proper proof provided by scientists regarding this.

The fossils also have interpreted it to belong to the sacral vertebrae family. The holotype of the specimen confirmed its existence to a dromaeosaurid, where other scholars argued it to belong to a ceratosaur species of dinosaurs.

Check out interesting facts about this dinosaur!

Ornithodesmus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Ornithodesmus'?

The name was given by paleontologist Harry Govier Seeley in the year 1887. At first, there had been several confusions regarding the species of this particular dinosaur, which apparently was identified as a pterosaur. The dinosaur is pronounced as 'Or-nith-o-des-muss'. 

What type of dinosaur was Ornithodesmus?

Ornithodesmus is described as a carnivore dromaeosaurid dinosaur that had been identified as a pterosaur before. The type species of this genus are called the Ornithodesmus cluniculus, even though the name Ornithodesmus latidens was used for a while.

In which geological period did the Ornithodesmus roam the Earth?

The discovery has unveiled that Ornithodesmus existed around the Lower Cretaceous period. 

When did Ornithodesmus become extinct?

These creatures, which were previously recognized as pterosaurs, became extinct around the end of the Lower Cretaceous period. 

Where did Ornithodesmus live?

They lived near the Wessex Formation of Brook Bay in England. 

What was the Ornithodesmus' habitat?

The habitat was generally terrestrial and aerial as it has been known that the fossil representations have denoted it to be isolated vertebrae.

Who did the Ornithodesmus live with?

There is no specific scientific evidence about the lifespan of Ornithodesmus. 

How long did Ornithodesmus live?

There is no specific scientific evidence about the lifespan of Ornithodesmus. 

How did they reproduce?

There has been no concrete data regarding the sexual maturity, reproduction system, eggs, and incubation period regarding this particular dinosaur. 

Ornithodesmus Fun Facts

What did Ornithodesmus look like?

Based on the structure of the hip bones and the complete skeleton along with the neural spines, the Ornithodesmus have been identified as isolated vertebrae. The discovery has supported the Ornithodesmus facts that it belonged to the theropods genus of pterosaur. 

The dromaeosaurid dinosaur's vertebrae consisted of neural spines. They also had features that were similar to a bird. Researchers later made the suggestion that Ornithodesmus is a pterosaur. They had sickle-shaped killing claws on the second toe of each foot. However, their body was not that large, which made them fall prey to the larger predator dinosaurs. 

The Ornithodesmus dinosaur fossils have considered that it had a long sacrum, with deep hollow cavities and neural spines, including a lateral platform. While the dromaeosaur teeth that were found near the excavation site belonged to a velociraptorine, scientists have concluded that the Ornithodesmus probably had similar teeth. 

Ornithodesmus were not birds, but they had the ability to fly as well as glide. There is no specific evidence of how many wings the Ornithodesmus has, but the special thing about this theropod is that they could both co-exist on land as well as aerially. 

Ornithodesmus and its classification have been troubling scientists for a long time!

How many bones did Ornithodesmus have?

There has been no specific evidence about the bones their dromaeosaur skeleton had. There have been assumptions that the type species Ornithodesmus cluniculus had hip bones fused to the spinal vertebras.

How did they communicate?

Even though there is no evidence on how they communicated, it has been speculated by scientists that they probably made conversations with the help of loud screeches and roars along with significant gestures and postures. 

How big was the Ornithodesmus?

The species was not that big, and the average size of an individual specimen was somewhere around 5.11 ft (1.5 m). 

How fast could an Ornithodesmus move?

Unfortunately, due to no wing bones being found of this genus, researchers haven't been able to determine how fast these carnivorous creatures could fly in the air. However, being carnivores, it can be inferred that they had decent speed aerially.

How much did Ornithodesmus weigh?

While there have been certain assumptions made about the weight of this genus, we cannot pinpoint their exact weight.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There was no specific name addressed to the male or female of this genus. 

What would you call a baby Ornithodesmus?

There was no specific name addressed to this particular genus of the baby Ornithodesmus.

How aggressive were they?

There is no specific proof regarding the aggression of this particular species. However, being carnivores, they might have been aggressive in their natural habitats. 

Did You Know…

In 1993, a startling discovery was made about the holotype specimen. New evaluations specified that the original sacral vertebrae belonged to a theropod dinosaur. The discovery was made by Stafford C Howse and Andrew Milner. Later on, Peter Makovicky and Mark Norell concluded it to be dromaeosaurid. However, other scientists speculated it to be ceratosaurs or coelophysid. 

Later in 2019, a new advanced analysis was done on Ornithodesmus. This analysis came to the conclusion that the genus belonged to the family of Unenlagiidar, which in turn was a sub-group of Dromaeosauridae. 

*We've been unable to source an image of Ornithodesmus and have used an image of Titanoceratops instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Ornithodesmus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

*We've been unable to source an image of Ornithodesmus and have used an image of Lesothosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Ornithodesmus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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