Fun Elaphrosaurus Facts Facts For Kids

Mellisa Nair
Feb 29, 2024 By Mellisa Nair
Originally Published on Sep 28, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Find interesting Elaphrosaurus facts for kids including details about its diet, weight, length, size, fossil remains, complete skeleton, long neck, skull, and its slender body.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

Elaphrosaurus is an extinct genus of Ceratosaurian Theropod dinosaurs, that lived during the Late Jurassic period. It lived in the Upper Cretaceous of Africa that is now known as Tanzania. It was a lightly built, small to medium-sized dinosaur and had a slender body with a long neck. The fossil remains recovered of this dinosaur were a nearly complete skeleton, with only its skull missing. The genus name Elaphrosaurus comes from the Greek words 'elaphros' and 'sauros,' which means light to bear, or light-footed, and lizard. Thus, the whole name reads as a light-footed lizard, which is a reference made to its high running speed. The specific name honors Paul Bamberg, an industrialist as he provided financial support for the research work and other expeditions to Tendaguru. Among all known Theropods it is known for having short legs and its length. Speaking morphologically this dinosaur can be separated from other Theropod dinosaurs similar to its size in two ways- the shallow chest on its relatively long body, and its short hindlimbs. Read on to find out more information about an Elaphrosaurus' diet, habitat, as well as Elaphrosaurus' size.

Learn about some other pre-historic creatures from our Caudipteryx facts and Regaliceratops facts pages.

Elaphrosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Elaphrosaurus'?

The word Elaphrosaurus is pronounced as 'el-ah-froh-sor-es'. The name of the genus Elaphrosaurus is taken from the Greek words 'elaphros' which means light to bear or in light-footed. It is a reference to its presumed high running speed, and finally 'sauros' means lizard, thus, the name means light-footed lizard.

What type of dinosaur was an Elaphrosaurus?

Even though the recovered fossils consisted of a nearly complete skeleton (only the skull was missing) classifying the species was a task as many researchers had different opinions about their position in the evolutionary tree. Since its body was similar to Ornithomimids, therefore it was originally thought to be the earliest ornithomimid. Phylogenetic analysis later revealed that this dinosaur is a Ceratosaur, it is also believed to be a late surviving Coelophysoid dinosaur.

In which geological period did the Elaphrosaurus roam the earth?

These dinosaurs lived during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 150-154 million years ago

When did the Elaphrosaurus become extinct?

These dinosaurs went extinct during the K-T mass extinction nearly 65 million years ago.

Where did an Elaphrosaurus live?

These dinosaurs lived in the Upper Jurassic of North America and Africa.

What was an Elaphrosaurus' habitat?

It never settled in one place and was often in search of new hunting grounds, its habitat changed according to its survival needs.

Who did an Elaphrosaurus live with?

Paleontologists speculate that they were solitary, or perhaps lived in a small-sized group.

How long did an Elaphrosaurus live?

The life span of this dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

They reproduced via sexual reproduction. Males would release their sperm inside females, who would later lay fertilized eggs containing developing dinosaur embryos in nests, which were built by digging burrows in the soil.

Elaphrosaurus Fun Facts

What did an Elaphrosaurus look like?

Everything known about this creature comes from the almost complete skeleton (except for the skull) discovered. Elaphrosaurus was a small Theropod dinosaur with a long, slender body, a small skull, and a long neck. It was observed that this dinosaur stood out from the other Theropods for having short legs and a tail half its body length, thin arms, three-fingered hands, three-toed feet, and a stiff tail. Even though the neck of this dinosaur was quite long, it wasn't the most flexible in comparison to other Theropods who had long thin, and flexible necks.

Fun facts about the fast bipedal dinosaur from Africa called Elaphrosaurus, a light-footed lizard, that lived during the Late Jurassic period including its weight, length, and size.

How many bones did an Elaphrosaurus have?

Fossil remains recovered of this species includes the entire skeleton of an Elaphrosaurus dinosaur (except for the Elaphrosaurus' skull) including five sacral vertebrae, two rib fragments, a pelvic girdle, a nearly complete left hindlimb, 18 presacral vertebrae, isolated metacarpals, 20 caudal vertebrae, and a humerus.

How did they communicate?

Communication among this long-necked creature that roamed the Earth during the Late Jurassic period is still a mystery but many scientists over the past decades have come up with several theories that suggest possible ways these animals communicated, some put forth the theory of vocalizations and that these ferocious beasts engaged in dialogue by producing calls, hoots, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.

How big was an Elaphrosaurus?

It was about 20 ft (6.2 m) long and 5 ft (1.5 m) tall at the hips.

How fast could an Elaphrosaurus move?

This dinosaur was a fast, bipedal dinosaur.

How much did an Elaphrosaurus weigh?

Curious about this dinosaur's weight? Well, it weighed about 460 lb (210 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The female species are called saura, whereas the males are called saurus.

What would you call a baby Elaphrosaurus?

A young dinosaur can be referred to as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Elaphrosaurus followed a carnivore diet similar to many other Theropods. Elaphrosaurus bambergi was a small dinosaur and not capable of preying on dinosaurs present in its paleoenvironment, therefore the diet of this dinosaur was primarily made up of other smaller animals.

How aggressive were they?

This dinosaur from the Jurassic period was fairly aggressive but smart enough to not pick fights with bigger carnivorous dinosaurs.

Did you know...

The remains of this dinosaur are safely housed at the Natural History Museum of Berlin, in Germany.

Where was Elaphrosaurus found?

Fossils from the Kimmeridgian stage of the Jurassic period belonging to an individual member of this species were found in the Tendaguru Formation, Tanzania, in East Africa, in 1910 the type specimen of Elaphrosaurus bambergi was also discovered from the Middle Dinosaur Member of the same formation by Werner Janensch, I. Salim, H. Reck, and Parkinson . Elaphrosaurus was described by Werner Janensch in 1920. Fossil remains and skeletons belonging to other theropod species were also found near the same site.

How has Elaphrosaurus' classification evolved?

Elaphrosaurus was originally described as a Coelurosaurian by Janensch because Coelurosauria at that time was the 'go-to' taxon for small-size theropods. Later in 1928, the species was placed under the Ornithomimidae family by Franz Nopcsa, but Janensch pointed out that convergent evolution cannot be used to place this dinosaur in the right taxon. By the end of the 20th century, it was formally referred to as a member of the Coeluridae family, however, in 1972 Dale Alan Russell reviewed Nopcsa's hypothesis again and the theory was confirmed in 1982 by Peter Malcolm Galton. But then, a closer examination of its limbs conducted by Gregory S. Paul in 1988 indicated that it may be a member of the Coelophysidae family, but this dinosaur was still considered as an Ornithomimid. Recent studies of the known fossil material conducted by Carrano and Sampson classified the species to the Ceratosauria group. Some believe that Elaphrosaurus was a late surviving Coelophysoid and an early member of the Noasauridae.

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 Sinraptor fun facts, or Bruhathkayosaurus facts for kids.

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


Main image by Michael B. H.

Second image by Georg.Frch at German Wikipedia.

Elaphrosaurus Facts Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Smaller dinosaurs, animals, fish, birds

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Long neck and tail, slender body, fast bipedal dinosaurs

How Much Did They Weigh?

420 lb (220 kg)

Skin Type

Bumpy scales

How Long Were They?

20 ft (6.2 m)

How Tall Were They?

5 ft (1.5 m)









Scientific Name

Elaphrosaurus bambergi

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Forests, lakes, swamps, riversides

Where Did They Live?

Tendaguru Formation, Tanzania, Africa
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Written by Mellisa Nair

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Mellisa Nair picture

Mellisa NairBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and English Literature

Specializing in the creation of SEO-friendly content, Mellisa brings enthusiasm and expertise to our team. Her work in digital marketing and social media is complemented by her academic background in economics and English literature, as she holds a Bachelor's degree in these subjects from Wilson College Chowpatty, Mumbai. Mellisa's experience working with clients from various industries, including retail, education, and technology, reflects her ability to adapt her skills to different contexts and audiences.

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