Fun Dakotadon Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Dakotadon Facts For Kids

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Dakotadon lakotaensis was a basal Iguanodontia that belonged to the Dinosauria (Ornithischia and saurischia) taxa of the Animalia kingdom. It is argued that Dakotadon, considered to be a member of the iguanodont dinosaur genera, belongs to another group. Data suggests that their remains were found in the Lakota formation and these dinosaurs probably lived during the valanginian stage of the early Cretaceous or lower Cretaceous era. It was a herbivore from South Dakota. The description was given by Weishampel and Philip R. Bjork. The genus name Dakotadon was given by Paul in 2008. It is known from a single holotype or specimen consisting of a partial skull. The incomplete structural form has made it difficult to study this species. Most of its data is derived based on its relationships with other ornithopods. Did you know, ornithopods were mainly plant eaters and bipedal?

Keep reading to find out more fun facts about the Dakotan. Once you have finished reading this article, do check out our other articles on the Ichthyovenator and Yinlong.

Fun Dakotadon Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Leaves, plants, cycads, horsetail, conifers, and ginkgos

What did they eat?


Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?

1874 lb (870 kg)

How long were they?

19.0 ft (5.8 m)

How tall were they?


What did they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Giganotosaurus, Sarcosuchus, Dromaeosaurs, Deinonychus, and giant Utahraptor

Where were they found?

Plains, forests, mountains, and swamps


South Dakota and North America




Dakotadon (Paul, 2008)





Scientific Name

Dakotadon lakotaensis

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Dakotadon Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Dakotadon'?

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, which governs all scientific names for living or dead species, must be followed when naming dinosaurs. They are often named in Greek or Latin based on specific characteristics or locations they were excavated from, or the person who discovered them. This is why dinosaur names are not always easy to pronounce. The name of this species is pronounced 'duh-co-ta-don'.

What type of dinosaur was a Dakotadon?

The Dakotadon was an iguanodon dinosaur that belonged to the Dinosauria (Ornithischia and saurischia) taxon of the Animalia kingdom. David B. Weishampel and Philip R. Bjork described it as Iguanodon lakotaensis in 1989. Iguanodon was the second member to be discovered as Dinosauria. It is argued that Dakotadon, considered to be a member of the iguanodont dinosaur genera, belongs to another taxon.

In which geological period did Dakotadon roam the earth?

The Dakotadon was a part of the earth in the valanginian stage of the Barremian period, during the Lakota Formation, which lasted from 129.4 million to 125 million years ago. This age is a subdivision of the Early Cretaceous or lower cretaceous era, and the name Barremian is derived from a locality near Barrême.

When did Dakotadon become extinct?

Dakotadon only lived during the Barremian age and became extinct after that. The record of the Campanian age suggests that there were multiple causes for this extinction.

Where did Dakotadon live?

The fossil of Dakotadon lakotaensis was discovered in the Lakota formation near Sturgis, Lawrence County, South Dakota by Dale Rossow.

What was the Dakotadon's habitat?

The Dakotadon probably occupied areas filled with vegetation such as plains, forests, mountains, and swamps.

Who did the Dakotadon live with?

There is no indication that this species resided in packs. The general rule is that herbivorous dinosaurs liked to gather in groups. The primary motivation for this was to defend themselves from predators, while meat eaters were more solitary species. The Dakotadon may have traveled along the river in huge groups, foraging on the plains. They could have been able to adapt to a solitary existence as well.

How long did a Dakotadon live?

The lifespan of members of the Iguatondiae family was between 10-100 years. The lifespan of this species is not known.

How did they reproduce?

The Dakotadon dinosaur reproduced by laying eggs. These eggs were hatched in an immature stage. The adults must have taken great care of the young ones. The reproduction of dinosaurs is similar to that of modern day reptiles. The male begins by depositing sperm. This would have resulted in a fertilized egg with embryos, followed by incubation and hatching. According to the references, most dinosaurs were quite attentive to their offspring.

Dakotadon Fun Facts

What did Dakotadon look like?

The description of Dakotadon lakotaensis was given in 1989 by Weishampel and Philip R. Bjork. It is closely related to cedorestes. The holotype of D. lakotaensis revealed certain places of the skull after the material was cleaned properly. Based on the observations of the skull, it was concluded that they might have had 19-20 tooth positions in the maxilla. It had a dorsal line running through the middle of the nose. It had large artificial openings on its ears similar to the ones before the eye socket. The space between the biting teeth and grinding teeth was absent.

The Dakotadon dinosaur lived during the Early Cretaceous period.

How many bones did a Dakotadon have?

The fossil of this species, discovered in the Lakota formation consisted of a partial skull, lower jaws, a single dorsal vertebra, tooth, and two caudal vertebrae. However, subsequent research claims that some bones from this specimen, Dakotadon lakotaensis, were not included and that a previously recognized one might have been incorrectly identified. As a result, determining how many bones they had has been tricky. Dinosaurs, in general, might have had as many as 200 bones, which is approximately equal to the number of bones a human has.

How did they communicate?

Dinosaurs did not use any modern-day technology to connect with each other. They only relied on their voice and vision. They communicated by emitting sounds which varied depending on the nature or situation. When in danger or while hunting they emitted high pitched growls. The rest of the time the sounds might have ranged from medium pitched hoots to low pitched 'coos'. They probably used their fighting skills to impress their mates and other body gestures to convey messages.

How big was Dakotadon?

The Dakotadon was 19.0 ft (5.8 m).

How fast could a Dakotadon move?

The speed of a dinosaur is calculated based on the hip height of the specimen and step measurements. The calculated speed is not an accurate value but only an estimation. In the case of Dakotadon lakotaensis which is only known from a skull and few other bones, it is not possible to calculate the speed due to a lack of information from the fossil. Based on relationships with similar species, it is said that they might have been both bipedal and quadrupedal.

How much did a Dakotadon weigh?

Based on fossil references, the Dakotadon was 1874 lb (870 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Not many fossils of this particular species are available. Sometimes only a fossil of the adult or juvenile is available. From all these elements, it is hard to determine if sexual dimorphism existed and provide separate names for male and female dinosaurs. They do not have separate names.

What would you call a baby Dakotadon?

Almost all dinosaur babies are referred to as juveniles, chicks, or hatchlings. They are not given any specific names.

What did they eat?

Ornithopods were plant-eating dinosaurs. The Dakotadon, just like the other members, was a herbivore. They had flexible necks and might have fed on trees or plants at different heights. Their diet mainly included leaves, plants, cycads, horsetails, conifers, and ginkgos. They were hunted by predators like Giganotosaurus, Sarcosuchus, Dromaeosaurs, Deinonychus, and giant Utahraptors.

How aggressive were they?

Dakotadon lakotaensis might have been aggressive. Due to the lack of data on the behavioral patterns of this species, it is difficult to reach a conclusion. We don't know if this dinosaur would bite, however they were plant-eating dinosaurs so they probably had blunt teeth.

Did you know...

David Norman said that Dakotadon was a synonym of Iguanodon bernissartensis.

The classification of this dinosaur under the iguanodont dinosaur genera has caused a lot of commotion. The classification of this taxa is still being questioned. Many scientists suggest that it belongs to a different group.

Dakotadon lakotaensis from Dakota was more basal than Iguanodon bernissartensis.

A recently published report suggests that melasonomes can help in the identification of the color of a dinosaur.

The term Dinosauria was coined by Sir Richard Owen.

Why are they called Dakotadon?

The generic name of this dinosaur, belonging to the Dinosauria (Ornithischia and Saurischia) clade, was given by Paul in 2008. Dakotadon was named after South Dakota, the place where it was discovered and the Greek word 'odon' meaning 'tooth', referring to the remains. The species name, lakotaensis, was given based on the Lakota Formation where the fossils were found. The species name was given by Weishampel, an American paleontologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Philip R. Bjork, an American geologist.

Where was the Dakotadon discovered?

A partial skeleton consisting of a partial skull, lower jaws, some tooth bones, a single dorsal vertebra, and two caudal vertebrae were discovered in the Lakota Formation in Sturgis, a city near South Dakota, Lawrence County. Mr. Dale Rossow was hunting rattlesnakes on what seemed like a normal day. He had no idea that this day would go down in the history of dinosaurs. He discovered the fossil of this species under a rock.

 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 Brachytrachelopan facts and Volgatitan facts for kids pages.

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

Main image by Bubblesorg

Second image by Clint A Boyd and Darrin C Pagnac

Written By
Abinaya Raj

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