Fun Vespersaurus Facts For Kids

Tanya Parkhi
Nov 29, 2022 By Tanya Parkhi
Originally Published on Oct 01, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Here are some great Vespersaurus facts that you will love!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

The Vespersaurus (scientific name Vespersaurus paranaensis) was a species of dinosaur which lived during the Late Cretaceous period.

Discovered quite recently, this new desert-dwelling species stands out due to its unique foot structure, on which its entire weight is borne on a single toe, with its other toes not touching the ground while walking.

This discovery was made by observing preserved footprints as well as unearthed foot bones. Found in the Rio Paraná Formation site in the Paraná Basin Brazil, this theropod was named after the town of Cruzeiro do Oeste (Western Cross), near where it was unearthed.

Footprints of a similar monodactyl were also discovered in Argentina, though it is possible that they belonged to an entirely different species.

Despite being a member of the Theropoda clade, this dinosaur was quite small in length compared to its other famous relatives, such as the Ceratosaurus and Carnotaurus. To learn more about this roar-some reptile, read on! For more relatable content, check out these Timimus facts and Condorraptor facts for kids.

Vespersaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Vespersaurus'?

Vespersaurus is pronounced as 'Veh-spuh-saw-rus.'

What type of dinosaur was a Vespersaurus?

This new desert-dwelling dinosaur is a member of the clade Theropoda, which consisted of meat-eating, hollow-boned dinosaurs.

In which geological period did the Vespersaurus roam the Earth?

The Vespersaurus paranaensis existed in our world during the Late Cretaceous period, which lasted from around 100.5–66 million years ago.

When did the Vespersaurus become extinct?

The Vespersaurus paranaensis most likely became extinct around 66 million years ago, around the end of the Late Cretaceous period.

Where did Vespersaurus live?

This theropod dinosaur was discovered in the Rio Paraná Formation in the Paraná Basin in South Brazil. It most likely inhabited the continent of South America when it was part of the supercontinent Gondwana during the Late Cretaceous period.

What was the Vespersaurus' habitat?

The Vespersaurus paranaensis was a desert-dwelling dinosaur, and its remains were found in the Rio Paraná Formation, near the town of Cruzeiro do Oeste (Western Cross). It is said to have lived in the giant prehistoric Botucatu Desert, which existed on the continent of Gondwana.

Who did Vespersaurus live with?

The Vespersaurus dinosaurs, 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 Vespersaurus 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.

How did they reproduce?

Vespersaurus 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.

Vespersaurus Fun Facts

What did Vespersaurus look like?

The Vespersaurus was a theropod, though unlike other famous theropods (such as the Ceratosaurus and Carnotaurus), it was quite small in length. Being a carnivorous dinosaur, it had sharp teeth and a strong jaw.

It had a long, slender body with a short neck and thick, tapering tail.

Though it looked similar to other theropods, a unique feature about these dinosaurs was the structure of its feet. Though they had four toes on each foot, most of their weight was borne on the second toe, essentially making them monodactyl in nature i.e.

only walking on one digit.

According to scientists, if the Vespersaurus had not gone extinct, it would have most likely evolved to only have one big toe on each foot, similar to the hooves of horses. Observation of its toes and foot bones by scientists confirmed that this monodactyl stance most likely was an adaptation to life in the arid desert environment.

The Vespersaurus was a theropod that lives in the desert.

How many bones did a Vespersaurus have?

Though the exact number of bones this theropod species of carnivorous dinosaur had has not been determined, 40% of the Vespersaurus skeleton was found when its remains were unearthed by a team of paleontologists in Brazil.

The number of bones possessed by the average dinosaur has been worked out to be around 200; hence the Vespersaurus 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 the Vespersaurus?

The Vespersaurus was quite small in size, being around 3.2-4.9 ft (1-1.5 m) in length. The Vespersaurus height was nearly around 3.3 ft (1 m).

How fast could a Vespersaurus move?

These small meat-eating Theropoda dinosaurs were quite fast, as they were bipedal in nature and bore all their weight on one central toe on each foot. We do know that theropods have been thought to run at an average speed of 27 mph (43.5 kph), which is most likely similar to how fast this dinosaur was.

How much did a Vespersaurus weigh?

This carnivorous dinosaur, owing to its small size, weighed nearly around 24.9 lb (11.3 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 Vespersaurus?

Baby Vespersaurus dinosaurs were known as hatchlings.

What did they eat?

Being carnivorous in nature, this species of dinosaurs most likely hunted down and ate smaller dinosaurs, other terrestrial creatures, eggs, and fish found in the area, which is now Brazil.

How aggressive were they?

These carnivorous dinosaurs were probably quite aggressive. They would have had to hunt and chase their prey down, which would have involved baring their sharp teeth and baring their claws.

Despite being predators, there is a high chance that they were still hunted down by predatory dinosaurs of larger size such as various bigger theropods and velociraptors, which meant that they had to stay on their guard and be aggressive towards any probable intruders on their territory.

Did you know...

On examining the toes and foot bones retrieved from the site, scientists determined that the monodactyl stance of this carnivorous dinosaur was an adaptation that helped it to adapt to life in its sandy desert environment.

Its first toe was noticed to be slightly raised, meaning it did not touch the ground at any time, whereas the second and fourth digits were very thin and raised above the ground while walking.

This led to the entirety of the dinosaurs' weight being borne on its third toe, as noticed by paleontologists observing preserved footprints.

This prehistoric lizard from Brazil is likely not the only one to have walked on only one toe, with similar tracks being discovered in Argentina, probably belonging to a different species altogether.

It was discovered in 2019 by the team of paleotologists consisting of a b c Langer, Max Cardoso; de Oliveira Martins, Neurides; Manzig, Paulo César; de Souza Ferreira, Gabriel; de Almeida Marsola, Júlio César; Fortes, Edison; Lima, Rosana; Sant'ana, Lucas Cesar Frediani; da Silva Vidal, Luciano; da Silva Lorençato, Rosangela Honório; Ezcurra and Martín Daniel Ezcurra.

Why are they called Vespersaurus?

The relatively new species Vespersaurus paranaensis is named after the word 'vesper,' which means evening, or west, and 'sauros,' the greek word for lizard. It was named so in honor of the Cruzeiro do Oeste ('Western Cross') town, near where the discovery of its remains was made by a team of paleontologists.

The species name, Vespersaurus paranaensis, refers to the state of Parana, one of the 26 states of Brazil.

Who discovered Vespersaurus?

The Vespersaurus was discovered by a team of Paleontologists in the Rio Paraná Formation in the Paraná Basin, Brazil.

They were a b c Langer, Max Cardoso; de Oliveira Martins, Neurides; Manzig, Paulo César; de Souza Ferreira, Gabriel; de Almeida Marsola, Júlio César; Fortes, Edison; Lima, Rosana; Sant'ana, Lucas Cesar Frediani; da Silva Vidal, Luciano; da Silva Lorençato, Rosangela Honório; Ezcurra and Martín Daniel Ezcurra.

It is a relatively new species of dinosaur, being discovered in June of 2019.

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 Thecodontosaurus fun facts or Wuerhosaurus facts for kids.

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

 

Main image by Juan(-username-).

Second image by Hypnoflow.

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Written by Tanya Parkhi

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya Parkhi picture

Tanya ParkhiBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.

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