Fun Nqwebasaurus Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Nqwebasaurus Facts For Kids

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The Nqwebasaurus thwazi was a species of small, omnivorous theropod dinosaur which wandered the ancient supercontinent Gondwana during the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous period. Its one and only specimen were discovered in the Kirkwood Formation in what is now the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It was discovered by William J. de Klerk and Callum Ross in July 1996, after which no other fossils of this species have been unearthed. Not much about this theropod dinosaur is currently known, with its classification, nature and diet are being debated over due to various characteristics being found in its skeleton which relate to many different species of dinosaurs, offering no conclusive evidence.

To learn more about the classification of this roar-some reptile, read on! For more relatable content, check out these Paralititan facts and Claosaurus facts for kids.

Fun Nqwebasaurus Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Fish, birds, smaller dinosaurs, leaves, grass, plants

What did they eat?

Omnivore (most likely)

Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?

10 lb (4.5 kg)

How long were they?

2.9-3.3 ft (90-100 cm)

How tall were they?

1 ft (30.5 cm)

What did they look like?

Small, with bird-like bones and three-toed feet, a lessened amount of teeth

Skin Type

Scales and probable feathers

What were their main threats?

Natural disasters and extreme climate change

Where were they found?

Mineral and wildlife-rich plateau in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous period


Kirkwood formation in South Africa









Scientific Name

Nqwebasaurus thwazi

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Nqwebasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Nqwebasaurus'?

The Nqwebasaurus pronunciation is as so 'kwe-bah-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Nqwebasaurus?

The Nqwebasaurus thwazi was a basal bird-like theropod or coelurosaur. It belongs to the Ornithomimosauria clade under classification.

In which geological period did the Nqwebasaurus roam the Earth?

The Nqwebasaurus roamed the earth from the Tithonian age of the Jurassic period to the Valanginian age of the Early Cretaceous period. It would have been found in and around what is now the continent of South Africa.

When did the Nqwebasaurus become extinct?

The Nqwebasaurus thwazi likely became extinct around the end of the Valanginian age of the Early Cretaceous period, which ended around 132.9 million years ago.

Where did a Nqwebasaurus live?

The Nqwebasaurus lived in what is now the continent of South Africa, most likely before the breakup of the large continent Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous period.

What was a Nqwebasaurus' habitat?

The Nqwebasaurus inhabited the Kirkwood Formation in South Africa, which was a resource-rich area in which many fossils of various reptiles, mammals, and fish have been found.

Who did a Nqwebasaurus live with?

The Nqwebasaurus, like most other dinosaurs, mostly lived in packs. There are high chances of dinosaurs living and feeding together in groups, and this theory has been developed due to the discovery of a number of fossilized trackways containing a sequence of dinosaur footprints, all suggesting the presence of dinosaurs traveling in groups.

How long did a Nqwebasaurus live?

Though the exact lifespan of a dinosaur cannot be determined, it has been estimated that they lived quite long lives, akin to those of similar reptiles like crocodiles and turtles. Due to their slow metabolisms, these beasts have been estimated to live between 80-300 years. However, due to its smaller size and fast movements, it is likely that the Nqwebasaurus lived for around the shorter end of this range.

How did they reproduce?

Nqwebasaurus thwazi dinosaurs were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. Their mating process was mostly similar to that of modern-day reptiles, with internal fertilization taking place inside the female's body.

Nqwebasaurus Fun Facts

What did a Nqwebasaurus look like?

The Nqwebasaurus was a small, bird-like dinosaur that possessed light, hollow bones. It most likely was covered in feathers and had four feet with each foot having three claws. An interesting find is that the first two claws on each foot were bent backward, whereas the claw on the third toe was not. Its forelegs were shorter than its hind legs, meaning that this dinosaur was bipedal in nature. It also had fewer teeth compared to other theropods, which points to it being a very primitive dinosaur.

The Nqwebasaurus dinosaur facts like it was a small, feathered dinosaur that walked on two legs are interesting.
We've been unable to source an image of Nqwebasaurus and have used an image of Scipionyx instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Nqwebasaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How many bones did a Nqwebasaurus have?

Though the exact number of bones this coelurosaurian dinosaur had has not been determined, a near-complete skeleton of this dinosaur, along with a fragmented skull has been unearthed. The number of bones possessed by the average dinosaur has been worked out to be around 200, hence the Nqwebasaurus dinosaur most probably had around 200 bones.

How did they communicate?

Dinosaurs are known for their loud, earth-shaking roars which are mostly how this dinosaur communicated. They mostly used bellowing roars, grunts of low rumbling noises to communicate, in order to mate or chase away other dinosaurs from their territories. Visual displays were also probably used, with raising of the front legs, stomping, and tail whipping involved.

How big was a Nqwebasaurus?

The Nqwebasaurus size has been observed to measure around 2.9-3.3 ft (90-100 cm) in length and around 1 ft (30.5 cm) in height. Though, the specimen found were most likely that of a juvenile who had not attained full maturity yet, so these measurements are inconclusive.

How fast could a Nqwebasaurus move?

Though the exact speed of this coelurosaurian dinosaur cannot be determined, the study of the Nqwebasaurus fossil showed that it had very light, hollow bird-like bones as well as feet adapted for fast running. Due to these characteristics, the type species was given the name 'thwazi' from the ancient Xhosa, which means 'fast runner'. It most likely used this speed to escape from larger predators such as bigger theropods and raptors.

How much did a Nqwebasaurus weigh?

The Nqwebasaurus thwazi, being a small dinosaur, weighed around 10 lb (4.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

A male dinosaur has been termed a saurus whereas the female dinosaur is known as saura. We do not make any distinction in sex while referring to dinosaurs though.

What would you call a baby Nqwebasaurus?

Baby Nqwebasaurus dinosaurs were known as hatchlings.

What did they eat?

There are a few conflicting opinions on what the diet of the Nqwebasaurus most likely was. It was assumed to be mostly carnivorous, however, the discovery of lessened teeth led to theories that it could have been a herbivore or an omnivore, feeding on both leaves, rudimentary plants, and grass as well as smaller organisms and fish.

How aggressive were they?

Due to their probable predatory nature, these pint-sized coelurosaurian dinosaurs were most likely very aggressive. Due to their smaller size and fleet footedness, it can be assumed that these dinosaurs were quite chaotic regardless of their diet, still having to be quite aggressive in order to protect themselves from the larger predatory dinosaurs such as various bigger theropods and velociraptors.

Did you know...

There has been only one fossil of this dinosaur species found to date, in the Kirkwood Formation. The Nqwebasaurus skeleton found was mostly intact, with the skull being fragmented in nature. The skeleton was dated to come from Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous period.

Where does the name Nqwebasaurus come from?

The name Nqwebasaurus thwazi comes from the ancient Xhosa word 'Nqweba', the local name for the Kirkwood district where the fossil of this dinosaur was discovered, as well as 'thwazi' which means a fast runner. It has also been given the unofficial nickname 'kirky' due to its association with the Kirkwood Formation.

Was the Nqwebasaurus a predator?

The Nqwebasaurus is envisioned to be a fast-running predator. However, this theory is debatable due to the discovery of lessened teeth in its jaw as well as the discovery of gastroliths (stones in the stomach that help to grind food), which could point towards the Nqwebasaurus being a herbivore that used its fast speed in order to escape from other, larger predators. As of now, this dinosaur is considered to be an omnivore, feeding on both plants as well as meat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Loricatosaurus facts and Aucasaurus fun facts for kids pages.

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


Main image by IJReid.

Second image by Conty.

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

Tanya always had a knack for writing which encouraged her to be a part of several editorials and publications across print and digital media. During her school life, she was a prominent member of the editorial team at the school newspaper. While studying economics at Fergusson College, Pune, India, she got more opportunities to learn details of content creation. She wrote various blogs, articles, and essays that garnered appreciation from readers. Continuing her passion for writing, she accepted the role of a content creator, where she wrote articles on an array of topics. Tanya’s write-ups reflect her love for traveling, learning about new cultures, and experiencing local traditions.

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