Fun Echinodon Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Oct 20, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these fun and interesting Echinodon facts about the Heterodontosaurid genus of dinosaurs living during the lower Cretaceous period.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Now a part of history, the dinosaur age occurred around the Mesozoic era lasting from 252 million years ago to 66 million years ago. Turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, and birds are all thought to be descendants of dinosaurs. There were around 700 subspecies of dinosaurs that evolved around the same period. These species of dinosaurs formed the clade Dinosauria which was further classified into various clades, orders, families, subfamilies, and genera. The name 'dinosaur' was coined by the English paleontologist Richard Owen and means 'terrible lizard'. Among 300 genera of dinosaurs was the genus Echinodon meaning 'hedgehog tooth'. While fossil remains were first discovered from Purbeck beds in southern England by the dinosaur hunter, Samuel Husbands Beckles, it was first documented by English paleontologist, Sir Richard O., as the Echinodon becklesii in 1861 honoring Samuel Beckles. Formerly considered the part of the clade of lizard, Lacertilia, the taxonomic classification was revised in 1874 and it was classified under the clade Prionodontia within the clade Dinosauria. In 1861, the British paleontologist Hugh Falconer coined the name Saurechinodon. The herbivore Ornithischian lived during the Berriasian age around 139 million years ago. Thus, it was the youngest among Heterodontosaurids.

If the uniqueness of the Echinodon makes you interested in reading more about similar species, you can read about the Zuniceratops and the Rahonavis.

Echinodon Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Echinodon'?

Echinodon is pronounced as 'eh-ky-no-don'. The name of the genus and its type species were coined by Richard Owen in 1861 and fossils were first uncovered by Samuel Beckles from Purbeck beds in southern England. While the generic name means 'hedgehog tooth' which translates to 'prickly tooth' in reference, the specific epithet of the type species, Echinodon becklesii, honors Samuel Beckles. The British paleontologist coined the synonymous name for the genus, Saurechinodon.

What type of dinosaur was an Echinodon?

The Echinodon was the smallest among Heterodontosaurid dinosaurs. Formerly classified under the clade Lacertilia, it was known to fall under the taxon family Prionodontia, specifically Heterodontosauridae. The genus Echinodon is documented as the type species Echinodon becklesii. It lived in England, Colorado, Portugal, and France, while the history of the dinosaur dates back to the Berriasian age of the early Cretaceous period. While it was described along with fossils of the Megalosaurus and the Iguanodon by Richard Owen, the Iguanodon and the Scelidosaurus are considered members of its family.

In which geological period did the Echinodon roam the Earth?

While members of the taxon group Heterodontosauridae date back to the late Jurassic era around 144.2 million years ago, the Echinodon roamed around during the early Cretaceous epoch. It lived approximately 145-100 million years ago.

When did the Echinodon become extinct?

The Echinodon was found during the Berriasian age, around 145-139 million years ago, while its existence is questionable around the Valanginian age, around 132 million years ago. Thus, it was speculated to have become extinct by the Valanginian age of the lower Cretaceous epoch.

Where did the Echinodon live?

Since life specimens, including teeth such as maxilla teeth bones and dentary teeth bones of upper and lower jaws, were discovered from the Isle of Purbeck, it is thought that the Echinodon was primarily found in southern England, Colorado, Portugal, and France.

What was the Echinodon's habitat?

Though not much can be deciphered from fossil remains of these animals, specimens of the Echinodon were found from sandstones or near freshwater beds. The habitat of the dinosaur was assumed to be grasslands, forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation around the world. Although the Echinodon or the Saurechinodon was known to reside around China, the favorable habitat of the dinosaur remains questionable.

Who did the Echinodon live with?

While many herbivore dinosaurs were found to live in a group, meat eaters often led a solitary life or hunted in packs, and juvenile dinosaurs were considered social animals. The Echinodon, in particular, was thought to have lived in a pair or a group. The dinosaur was identified to have several predators, thus, it was speculated to often fight off predators in packs. It was known to live at a distance from its predators. Whether the Echinodon lived in pairs, groups or solitarily remains a conundrum.

How long did the Echinodon live?

The dinosaur was known as one of the longest-living animals with a substantial life span ranging from 70-80 years; however, the life span of the Echinodon, a wildlife creature from the prehistoric era, is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

Though the reproductive behavior of the Echinodon remains poorly studied, a dinosaur, in general, was an oviparous animal, laying eggs to reproduce. It laid amniotic eggs in a nest. The nest was thought to be a cup, dome, plate, bed, scrape, mound, or burrow. While the female was known to lay eggs, she also grew a bone rich in calcium when laying eggs. The medullary bone was used to make eggshells. The bone also helps paleontologists to decipher the sex of the dinosaur by studying these fossils. Although the brooding position may differ, the female was reported to use an insulating layer of feathers to keep eggs warm until they hatched.

Echinodon Fun Facts

What did the Echinodon look like?

The Echinodon had features quite similar to the Fruitadens and the Tianyulong, though there were a few differing dental features. Since members of Heterodontosauridae were known to have quite similar features, an Echinodon was a genus of bipedal dinosaurs. The generic name Echinodon or Saurechinodon means 'hedgehog tooth' translating as 'prickly tooth' in reference. Since fossil remains collected were fragmentary, the only known specimens are bones of the skull, the premaxilla, the maxilla, the palatine, the dentary, the lacrimal, the ectopterygoid, and other teeth of upper and lower jaws. Thus, the description of the dinosaur remains questionable and needs more research.

It is the skeleton of the bipedal Heterodontosaurid dinosaur found during the early Jurassic period.
*We've been unable to source an image of an Echinodon and have used an image of a Heterodontosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of an Echinodon, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did an Echinodon have?

The number of bones is not known yet as fossil remains collected were fragmentary. The only known specimens are bones of the skull, the premaxilla, the maxilla, the palatine, the dentary, the lacrimal, the ectopterygoid, and other teeth of upper and lower jaws.

How did they communicate?

With the evolution of time, this dinosaur inherited both visual and vocal methods of communication. It communicated by clapping its jaws together, hissing, rubbing its scales together, grinding its mandibles against its upper jaws, or using various environmental materials like splashing the water. The Echinodon, having lived in the early Cretaceous period, is thought to have adopted similar techniques to communicate with each other; however, no reports have confirmed this.

How big was the Echinodon?

The Echinodon length ranges around 1.9 ft (60 cm) but the height is yet not recorded. Due to its size, the Echinodon is speculated to be one of the smallest species among Heterodontosaurids. In comparison, the Argentinosaurus was known to have a length of around 130 ft (39.6 m), while the Anchiornis huxleyi was the smallest with a length ranging up to 1.1 ft (34 cm).

How fast could an Echinodon move?

While some dinosaurs walked on four legs, others had the ability to walk on two legs. Some dinosaurs were speculated to fly as juvenile dinosaurs and were capable of flying right after their birth. Some dinosaurs often inhabited semi-aquatic habitats, but the Echinodon was found in terrestrial habitats moving using their four legs. The speed of the Echinodon is unrecorded.

How much did an Echinodon weigh?

The Echinodon weight varied between 5-10 lb (2-4.5 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs do not have specific binomial names. However, often, the female dinosaur is known as saura, and the male can be called a saurus.

What would you call a baby Echinodon?

A baby dinosaur is often called a chick, juvenile, or hatchling, while a baby Echinodon does not have any specific binomial name.

What did they eat?

The Echinodon was an herbivore primarily feeding upon leaves, fruits, roots, and flowers of flowering plants like ginkgos, horsetails, and conifers. Specimens of tooth bones also confirm a plant-based diet as teeth were not strong enough to peel off meat or carrion.

How aggressive were they?

The herbivore species of dinosaur does not feature an aggressive temperament unless threatened by its predators.

Did you know...

Though Sir Richard Owen was the first paleontologist to document the species of the Echinodon, Echinodon facts and research reports are published under several authors.

Why are they called Echinodon?

The Echinodon means 'hedgehog tooth' referring to the prickly tooth. The British paleontologist Hugh Falconer documented the species as the Saurechinodon but later Saurechinodon was referred to as the senior synonym to its generic name.

How strong were the Echinodon teeth?

Echinodon, meaning 'hedgehog tooth,' or Saurechinodon, were known to have teeth bones among fragmentary fossils recovered, but the strength of the teeth remains questionable. Considering the diet of the Echinodon, teeth of the dinosaur were not known to have substantial strength.

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 Heterodontosaurus facts and Brachytrachelopan facts for kids.

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

 

Hero/Main image: FunkMonk (Michael B. H.)

Second image: Daderot

*We've been unable to source an image of an Echinodon and have used an image of a Heterodontosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of an Echinodon, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

Echinodon Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Leaves, fruits, roots, and flowers of flowering plants such as ginkgos, horsetails, and conifers

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivores

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Brown, gray, black, and white

How Much Did They Weigh?

5-10 lb (2-4.5 kg)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

1.9 ft (60 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Echinodon

Family

Heterodontosauridae

Scientific Name

Echinodon becklesii

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters, habitat loss, and predators

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grasslands, forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation

Where Did They Live?

Southern England, Colorado, Portugal, and France
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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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