Fastest Dinosaur That Ever Existed: Everything You Need To Know

Deepthi Reddy
Mar 01, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Nov 05, 2021
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
The fierce creature existed in diversified forms

Dinosaurs existed millions of years ago and lived for more than a million years.

What is the first thing that pops up in your mind while speaking about a dinosaur? Most likely the Jurassic Park movie!

Dinosaurs were categorized into more than 700 divergent species with distinct sizes. They were living in three different intervals of time 65 million years before our existence.

The fierce creature existed in diversified forms in three different intervals of time, known as the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous era, living across all continents. The earliest dinosaurs evolved in the middle to late Triassic period in parts of the Pangea continent (present South America) about 230 million years ago.

These frightening crocodiles governed about 20 million years preceding the evolution of dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs truly began their supremacy at the beginning of the Jurassic interval, 200 million years ago. Paleontologists distinguished them between saurischian (lizard-hipped) and ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaurs. Saurischian dinosaurs incorporate carnivorous Theropods and herbivorous Sauropods, and Prosauropods. Among all other types, Ornithischians, Hadrosaurs, and Ceratopsians are plant-eating.

The Argentinosaurus was a personification of massiveness. Its weight was 169,756 lb (77 tons), equivalent to 17 south African elephants. Also, it holds the award of being the longest dinosaur and the largest animal to have lived so far.

The Tyrannosaurus rex and the Giganotosaurus hold a lot of popularity even though they are a minority group of carnivorous species. These meat-eating species are less in number compared to plant-eating herbivorous animals. Animals such as Hadrosaurs, Ornithopods, and to a lesser extent, Sauropods, roamed across continents expansively.

The oldest dinosaur that ever existed is the Saltopus. It was a tiny carnivore that lived 245 million years back. Remains of this animal were found only in Scotland so the UK might hold the key to its origins.

During the late Jurassic and Cretaceous period, modern birds evolved from small, feathered, Theropod dinosaurs. The evolutionary process might have happened repeatedly and had some dead ends along the way. It is appropriate to refer to modern birds as dinosaurs.

Keep reading for amusing and exciting facts about dinosaurs! If you think these facts are interesting, you would also love our articles about the fastest dog and the fastest horse breed. Check out these as well!

List Of Fastest Dinosaurs

Did you ever imagine that a dinosaur could run despite its gigantic size and at the same time could run at a good speed? Despite their gigantism, dinosaurs tended to have more agility and speed than we might presume. We are going to list some dinosaurs that are known for their speed.

The fastest dinosaur could be the Struthiomimus, running up to 60 mph (96 kph). The dinosaur Compsognathus ran around 40 mph (64 kph), and the Megalosaurus ran about 30 mph (48 kph).

The Dilophosaurus could run about 20 mph (32 kph). Also, Ornithomimids comprising long limbs like ostriches, could run faster up to 25 mph (40 kph) based on footprints found in the mud. Despite their big size, these animals managed good running and sprinting.

The Elasmosaurus was 46 ft (14 m) long and was the longest plesiosaur. Its neck made up half of its length, which had almost 75 vertebrae. That is equivalent to seven to eight vertebrae in humans.

The Elasmosaurus had a tiny head, four long paddle-like flippers, sharp teeth, strong jaws, and a pointed tail. Plesiosaurs are commonly known as dinosaurs, but was a marine reptile. Some Plesiosaurs might have had tail fins.

The longest dinosaur was the Argentinosaurus, measuring 131.23 ft (40 m) long. Also, it is part of the Titanosaur group of dinosaurs, and remains of this animal were found in Argentina.

The Gallimimus, from a group called Ornithomimids, is known to have been one of the fastest dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are also called 'chicken mimics' as they had similar neck vertebrae as those of galliforms. They had long legs, long necks, long tails, and small heads with long beaks.

They had quick feet. The fastest dinosaur, the Gallimimus, had a speed of 49 mph (80 kph).

But this animal was a lot heavier than a chicken. It weighed around 992 lb (450 kg) and was three times taller than a human. The Gallimimus also had a brain size equal to a golf ball, which was slightly bigger than the brain size of the ostrich.

What is the fastest dinosaur?

Modern reptiles like turtles and crocodiles are ectothermic or cold-blooded which means they have to depend on their external environment to maintain their internal body temperature. Modern birds and mammals are warm-blooded or endothermic whose own active, heat-producing metabolism helps them maintain a constant internal body temperature irrespective of external conditions.

There's a solid case that at least a few carnivorous dinosaurs including some Ornithopods must have been endothermic because it is unimaginable to visualize such an active lifestyle possessed by a cold-blooded animal.

Did you know that the highest running speeds were of Ornithomimids like the Dromiceiomimus, which could probably go speeds as fast as 37 mph (60 kph)? The Struthiomimus was also as fast or faster, running 37 mph (60 kph).

The Velociraptor, another one of the fastest dinosaurs, was no less speedy and could run up to 24 mph (40 kph) and surely could outrun many other dinosaurs.

Probably many of us mistakenly believe that mammals succeeded these animals 65 million years ago after the extinction. Most early mammals lived in company with Sauropods and Hadrosaurs for almost the entire Mesozoic era. They also evolved around the same time (late Triassic period).

The smallest completely grown fossil dinosaur was the little bird-hipped herbivore the Lesothosaurus, which was the size of a chicken.

How fast was the fastest dinosaur?

Do you know the dumbest dinosaur that ever roamed the land? The answer is the Stegosaurus, which had a brain size of a walnut which was 1.18 in (3 cm) long and a weight of 0.16 lb (75 g). Other dumbest dinosaurs included sauropodomorphs, like the Platesaurus, comparing the proportion of brain size to body size.

The fastest dinosaur speed was 37 mph (60 kph). The Dromoiceiomimus and the Struthiomimus possessed such speed, which is unimaginable for their big size.

One of the most intellectual dinosaurs that roamed the land was the Troodon. It was a 6.5 ft (2 m) long hunting dinosaur with a brain size that was probably similar to that of today's mammals of the present, grasping hands and stereoscopic vision.

Also, the T-rex did possess better brains than many other dinosaurs. This group of dinosaurs required extraordinary agility, sight, smell detection, and coordination for hunting prey.

The Brachiosaurid group of Sauropods were the tallest dinosaurs. They had extremely long necks with front legs longer than rear legs that were capable of browsing off the tallest trees. The Sauroposeidon was the largest and could grow 60 ft (18.5 m) tall.

The T-rex had a life span of 3o years. This dinosaur had a strange feature of not being able to reach very far (it couldn't even reach its mouth) because of its too short arms.

Its menu was made up of 500 lb (226.7 kg) of meat in a single bite. The Tyrannosaurus rex is often shown in films like Jurassic Park for its massiveness and spine-chilling aesthetics. It was a bipedal dinosaur, which means it walked and ran on two legs.

It had an unsymmetrical distribution of weight, having two legs larger and stronger to carry its heavy mass. In contrast to the two larger legs, the Tyrannosaurus rex possessed relatively smaller arms.

It has been debated whether the T-rex was a predator (hunted and killed its food) or a scavenger (stole food from other predators). Most scientists believed it was both.

It all depended on how fast the dinosaur the T-rex was preying on was. Some think the T-Rex was fast enough to catch its meals. But the dinosaur was slow and used its terrifying jaws to scare off other predators and steal their kills.

There are a lot of significant varieties of this animal in museums throughout the world.

The Yukatan Peninsula was affected by a meteor attack 65 million years back. The extinction of dinosaurs dragged on for hundreds and thousands of years after the meteor attack because of deteriorating global temperatures and vegetation, and lack of sunlight altering the food chain.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for fastest dinosaur, then why not take a look at the fastest snake in the world, or the fastest sea animal?

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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