Fun Unaysaurus Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Oct 20, 2022 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Sep 15, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Here are some interesting Unaysaurus facts that will put you in a time machine to the Triassic period!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

Unaysaurus, based on the holotype specimen and other fossils that have allowed paleontologists to almost completely reconstruct the skeletal figure of the animal, is known to be a part of the family Unaysauridae. This sauropodomorph dinosaur genus is known to have been one of the oldest dinosaurs ever to have tread earth.

They date back to a stupendous 225 to 200 million years ago!

These partially bipedal herbivores were closely related to a genus from Argentina, although the specimens of the Unaysaurus have been only found in Brazil. This was enough to tickle paleontologists into thinking if the fact that the world was not divided into supercontinents allowed animals to move across the land and find different habitats freely!

Unaysaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Unaysaurus '?

Unaysaurus ('unay' meaning black water and 'saurus' meaning lizard) is pronounced as 'oo-nay-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Unaysaurus?

Unaysaurus was a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs that could be found on earth during the Triassic period.

In which geological period did the Unaysaurus roam the earth?

It is estimated through the fossil remains of these animals that they lived on earth during the Carnian or Norian age of the Triassic period of the world. If you happen to be wondering how long ago that was, you will definitely be astonished that the Unaysaurus tread earth around 225 - 200 million years ago!

When did the Unaysaurus become extinct?

The exact timeline as to when this genus of dinosaurs were erased from the face of earth is not known exactly, however, we do know that the Triassic period came to an end around 200 million years ago.

Where did a Unaysaurus live?

The habitat of the Unaysaurus (meaning black water lizard) is estimated to have consisted of humid, dense forests, where these herbivorous dinosaurs would be able to find sufficient foliage to feed on at any given point of time.

What was a Unaysauru's habitat?

The fossils of the Unaysaurus dinosaur genus were discovered from present day Brazil, and hence they are sometimes considered to have been endemic. However, the closest relative of the Unaysaurus, Plateosaurus, is estimated tot have lived in present day Argentina.

This makes people wonder if, since the world was a supercontinent called Pangea at that time, that these animals could travel to different places.

Since this is admittedly a theory, the Unaysaurus is considered to have been endemic to the lands around present day Brazil until proven otherwise through credible research.

Who did a Unaysaurus live with?

It is not known if Unaysaurus lived in packs or liked to lead a solitary life. It can be assumed, however, that these animals were small herbivores, they would have preferred to live in small groups or packs in order to avoid becoming easy prey.

Such tendencies are commonly seen in both ancient herbivores, and those that exist in the world today.

How long did a Unaysaurus live?

We do not know how long an average Unaysaurus lived, or how long this dinosaur genus existed on earth due to the lack of sufficient research in the field.

How did they reproduce?

Dinosaur genera discovered throughout the world are known to have been oviparous. Hence, the Unaysaurus or black water lizard dinosaurs also reproduced by laying eggs. What remains to be discovered is if this genus of herbivore, early dinosaurs had any interesting courting methods or any social nesting patterns.

Unaysaurus Fun Facts

What did a Unaysaurus look like?

The almost complete skeleton, including a complete skull and limbs, gave paleontologists enough room to understand exactly what the animals of this species would have possibly looked like. Estimations and studies led to understanding that dinosaurs of this species were short and averagely sized. Such features are considered typical for the Triassic time of the world.

The Unaysaurus is mostly seen standing on its feet in illustrations, since this partial bipedal animal ran and tread earth mostly on its hind limbs. It is also characterized by a long neck and tail, which is also a standard feature amongst Unaysaurid dinosaurs.

The Unaysaurus is known to have been a partially bipedal genus of dinosaurs.

How many bones did a Unaysaurus have?

The total number of bones in the body of the Unaysaurus is not known, since only a partial skeleton of the genus was discovered in Brazil. Hopefully, when more fossil remains are found in Brazil or in other parts of the world, a conclusive number of bones can be found.

How did they communicate?

The communication method used by this herbivore is likely to have consisted of a harsh call, as is common in dinosaurs. Since it is not likely to have had feathers, communication based on displays seems unlikely for the black water lizard.

How big was a Unaysaurus?

The average Unaysaurus could be 2.3-2.6 ft (0.7-0.79 m) tall from skull to feet. The almost complete skeleton of the dinosaur genus suggests that they were 8.2 ft (2.5 m) in length, which is a standard size for early dinosaurs.

How fast could a Unaysaurus move?

While we don't exactly know the speed at which these dinosaurs could move, it is likely that they could run at a considerable speed, given the small size and light weight.

How much did a Unaysaurus weigh?

The average Unaysaurus weighed around 150 lb (70 kg)!

What were the male and female names of the species?

Since there are no distinct names for the two sexes of the Unaysaurus dinosaurs, we have decided to refer to them as the male Unaysaurus and female Unaysaurus respectively.

What would you call a baby Unaysaurus?

The baby Unaysaurus of the Triassic Brazil would be called a hatchling, since almost all dinosaur genera are estimated to have been oviparous.

What did they eat?

The Unaysaurus was a herbivore. This means that this animal would feed on plants and other plant materials that could be found aplenty during the Triassic period of the world. As they had a plant-based diet, their teeth may not be as sharp as their carnivorous counterparts.

How aggressive were they?

It is unlikely that this small, early dinosaur genus would have been aggressive since this is not a virtue that is usually associated with herbivorous dinosaurs of such smalls size and gait!

While the idea of being faced with such an animal can be quite intimidating, given how we perceive dinosaurs, you will be amused to know that not all dinosaur genera were as deadly as the others.

Did you know...

The first dinosaurs are estimated to have originated in Argentina, Brazil and neighboring areas.

The closest relative of the Unaysaurus is Plateosaurus, which lived in a similar time or era of the world.

The species Unaysaurus tolentinoi is named after the place where the partial skeleton was discovered, and the name of the person who first found a fossil of this animal.

Related species suggest that these animals were herbivorous and would have been one of the early dinosaur genera to have lived on earth.

The holotype specimen includes an almost complete skull and other parts of the skeleton.

What does the term Unaysaurus mean?

The name Unaysaurus originates from the Tupi word 'unay' which means black water. This refers to the Agua Negro which is the place where the complete skull was discovered. The word Tolentinoi is derived from the name of the person who found the first-ever fossil of the species.

Was Unaysaurus one of the oldest known dinosaur?

Unaysaurus, and the related Plateosaurus are known to have been one of the early dinosaur genera to have lived on earth. This goes on to say that the Unaysaurus is indeed one of the oldest known dinosaur genera of the world.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover!

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

Main image by Michael B. H. and second image by Conty.

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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