Fun Orodromeus Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 31, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Sep 20, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Know all about the Orodromeus from the prehistoric age.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

Orodromeus is a genus of wonderful dinosaurs that existed during the Late Cretaceous period. It was named in 1988 by Horner and Weishampel, after the discovery of a partial skeleton and skull by Robert Makela in the Egg Mountain site of the Two Medicine Formation in Montana, the USA in North America.

Thus, it was named Orodromeus, meaning mountain runner, as a reference to the site of its discovery and because it is assumed to have been a good runner, given its slender, long legs.

Initially, there were two species assigned to this genus, O. makelai, and O. minimus, of which the former is considered to be the type species of this genus. A subfamily, Orodrominae, was created and named after this dinosaur in 2013.

This dinosaur had a herbivorous diet and would have had to escape from predators a lot due to its small size.

However, this would have been easy for them as they had a slender build and were presumably fast runners. Here are some amazing and interesting facts about this small dinosaur!

If you want to read about other cool dinosaurs, check out our Sauropelta interesting facts for kids and Zuniceratops fun facts pages.

Orodromeus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Orodromeus'?

The phonetic pronunciation of the name of this dinosaur is 'Or-oh-dro-me-us'.

What type of dinosaur was an Orodromeus?

Orodromeus was a type of ornithopod, and belongs to the order Ornithischia and suborder Ornithopoda. Members with this classification are characterized by the bird like build or structure of their hips. Almost all of them are bipedal, that is, they walk or run on two legs instead of four. They are also herbivorous grazers.

In which geological period did the Orodromeus roam the earth?

Specimens of these dinosaurs have been discovered dating back to the Santonian, Campanian, and Maastrichtian ages of the Late Cretaceous period. Thus, they lived on Earth 86.3-70.6 million years ago.

When did the Orodromeus become extinct?

This genus of dinosaurs is most likely to have gone extinct because of the Cretaceous Paleogene extinction event that occurred almost 66 million years ago because of the impact of a giant comet or asteroid on the Earth's surface. This event caused the extinction of almost three quarters of all plants and animals.

Where did an Orodromeus live?

Orodromeus lived in North America in what is now Montana, USA. Their fossils have been excavated from the Egg Mountain site situated in the Two Medicine Formation.

What was an Orodromeus' habitat?

Fossils and specimens of this ground dwelling dinosaur have been found from the Egg Mountain site, which leads to the belief that it lived in a terrestrial habitat on mountains and hills. They would have needed a lot of vegetation to sustain their herbivorous diet.

Some scientists also believe that the Orodromeus lived in burrows to hide from its predators as their fossils were found packed in a small space, instead of scattered.

It could have lived in a burrow to make a nest for its eggs as well. A close relative of the Orodromeus, the Oryctodromeus, was also known to live in burrows.

Who did an Orodromeus live with?

Orodromeus is said to have been a social animal and coexisted with other herbivores that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, such as Daspletosaurus and Einiosaurus.

How long did an Orodromeus live?

The lifespan of an Orodromeus is not known but most members of Ornithopoda are said to have lived for a long time.

How did they reproduce?

These dinosaurs were oviparous, which means that they laid eggs from which young ones emerged. The young ones of this genus are thought to have had well developed bones and teeth at birth and were able to walk soon after they emerged from their eggs.

Orodromeus Fun Facts

What did an Orodromeus look like?

The Orodromeus was a small sized dinosaur with short forelimbs like many ornithopod dinosaurs. Its hind legs were long and slender, and are thought to have enabled it to run faster.

This would have been useful as it was a common prey for predators that lived during the Late Cretaceous as well. Its skull was found to be somewhat triangular and its tail was very long.

An Orodromeus had a long tail and hind legs with short forelimbs.

How many bones did an Orodromeus have?

The total number of bones in the body of an Orodromeus is not known as only a few specimens of this animal have been discovered, and a complete skeleton is yet to be found.

How did they communicate?

It is difficult to determine how these dinosaurs communicated with each other but many scientists believe that dinosaurs would have had some form of a call to alert others of a predator nearby, and establish their territory.

How big was an Orodromeus?

An Orodromeus was small in size as many other ornithopod dinosaurs. According to Horner and Weishampel, its body length would have been in the range of 59-98 in (1.5-2.5 m), and it would have had an average height of 59 in (1.5 m). Thus, it was about half the length of a Parksosaurus, which belongs to the same family.

How fast could an Orodromeus move?

The exact speed of this dinosaur cannot be quantified, but it is believed to have been a very fast runner due to its long, skinny legs and small size. The name of the genus also means mountain runner, and is a reference to its assumed fast speed.

How much did an Orodromeus weigh?

From its fossils, the approximate weight of this dinosaur has been determined to be 143 lb (65 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no names given to animals of this genus based on their sex.

What would you call a baby Orodromeus?

A baby Orodromeus would have been called a hatchling, and then later, a juvenile, when it would have been immature and not an adult yet.

What did they eat?

The Orodromeus was a herbivore, which means that its diet would have included vegetation and foliage that would have been available during the Late Cretaceous. It has been thought that dinosaurs like this would have fed on vegetation that was below the height of 39 in (1 m).

This dinosaur would have had a number of predators, such as Stenonychosaurus and Saurornitholestes.

How aggressive were they?

These were small herbivorous creatures and probably would not have been harmful to any other animals.

Did you know...

Near where the first specimens of Orodromeus were found, a large nest containing a clutch of 19 eggs was also discovered. These eggs were arranged in a careful spiral and some of them also contained embryos, which was considered to be an important discovery.

These were at first thought to belong to an Orodromeus. However, after further research was conducted, the eggs and embryos were found to be of a Stenonychosaurus, who also lived during the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous.

Species of Orodromeus

This genus consists of two species, O. makelai, and O. minimus. The type species, O. makelai, was named by Horner and Weishampel to honor Robert Makela, who originally found the first Orodromeus specimen.

However, the latter is not known with certainty to belong to this genus as the fossils found of the species are believed by some to possibly be of another dinosaur called the Laosaurus.

Where can you find Orodromeus fossils?

Several specimens of Orodromeus have been found in the Egg Mountain site of the Two Medicine Formation, which is located in Montana, USA.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! To know more about other dinosaurs, check out our Atrociraptor fun facts and Zigongosaurus facts pages.

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

Main image by Carpenter, Kenneth and second image by ArthurWeasley.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

Read full bio >