Fun Leaellynasaura Facts For Kids

Anamika Balouria
Oct 20, 2022 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read about Leaellynasaura facts to learn about these polar ornithopod dinosaurs.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

The Leaellynasaura was a small ornithopod with a long tail whose fossils date back to the Early Cretaceous period, around 118 million years ago to 110 million years ago in Victoria, southern Australia. From the history of these ornithopods, it is evident that they were almost the size of a juvenile. The body build of these dinosaurs was such that they could live in the high altitudes of the Antarctic Circle.

These ornithopod dinosaurs were at the time described as polar dinosaurs or a Leaellyn's lizard. The ornithopod dinosaur was from the Albian stage and was first discovered in Dinosaur Cove, Australia. The dinosaur was named after the daughter, Leaellyn Rich, of famous Australian scientists named Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich. They discovered these polar dinosaurs in 1989. Their fossils are kept in the Museum of Victoria.

It is believed that Victoria, now in Australia would have been part of the Antarctic Circle during the mid-Cretaceous period when the temperature was warmer for a certain period of time. These ornithopods were acquainted with living in such conditions where there would have been long periods of daylight and dark nights. The body's adaptability was such that they could survive in both cold and warm climatic conditions. From a few resources, it is evident that these ornithopods were warm-blooded animals with big eyes and the brain had big optic lobes.

If you enjoyed reading this article about the ornithopod dinosaurs from the Antarctica Circle, then do read some interesting fun facts about other dinosaurs, such as Zephyrosaurus and Notoceratops.

Leaellynasaura Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Leaellynasaura'?

The word might appear difficult to pronounce, but it is quite easy – all thanks to the syllables. You can easily divide the word into chunks and the pronunciation of the word Leaellynasaura is 'Lay-ell-ee-nuh-sore-uh'.

What type of dinosaur was a Leaellynasaura?

The Leaellynasaura was a small ornithopod with a long tail and a herbivore diet. The type species of the genus is Leaellynasaura amicagraphica. They are in the clade Dinosauria and order Ornithischia. The fossils of the Leaellynasaura skull and skeleton are kept in the Museum of Victoria, Australia. Although they have been classified as a Hypsilophodontidae, many scientists believe that this classification is incorrect.

In which geological period did the Leaellynasaura roam the earth?

The dinosaur Leaellynasaura roamed the earth during the Early and Middle of the Cretaceous period during the Albian stage, 118 million years ago to 110 million years ago. 

When did the Leaellynasaura become extinct?

The Leaellynasaura became Extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 110 million years ago.

Where did the Leaellynasaura live?

The fossils of Leaellynasaura skeleton bones were discovered at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, southern Australia. It is believed by many scientists that this region of Australia was part of the Antarctic Circle where the temperatures were extremely warmer during the daylight and freezing during the long nights when these ornithopods might have hibernated.

What was the Leaellynasaura's habitat?

The natural habitat of these ornithopods would have been really hard as they lived in the Antarctic Circle, that today is known as Victoria in southern Australia. During the Middle Cretaceous period, it is believed that due to earth tilt, day and night used to be longer than expected. During the daylight days, the temperatures might have been warmer, unlike the body freezing during the cold dark night. The varied range of temperatures would have made it really hard to survive. With the fossils recovered, it is believed that these dinosaurs' adaptability to the natural environment was good and they hibernated during the cold dark nights. During the winter, the sun would have risen after weeks.

Who did Leaellynasaura live with?

There is not much information available regarding whether they lived in groups or not. These dinosaurs must have lived in solitude due to the harsh climatic conditions and would have only come out of their places to feed themselves with small plants like ferns and horsetails.

How long did a Leaellynasaura live?

The Leaellynasaura amicagraphica lived a shorter duration of their life span. They existed between 118 million years ago and 110 million years ago. The dinosaur was a small herbivore, so they must have been preyed upon by other large dinosaurs.

How did they reproduce?

These ornithopods, Leaellynasaura amicagraphica, must have reproduced by mating and laying eggs. The Leaellynasaura egg would have been of oval shape and laid in clutches. The female dinosaurs of this species must have taken care of the babies during the nestling period. 

Leaellynasaura Facts

What did the Leaellynasaura look like?

The Leaellynasaura amicagraphica has been classified as an ornithopod and only two skeletons and a skull have been retrieved. The dinosaur had a long tail and had no tendons on it. They walked on two hind legs and each leg had three toes on each foot. It is believed that their tails were at least three times bigger than their bodies. It was a little elevated and rose from the hip bone. They had big, catchy eyes which helped them to see in the dark winter nights. Still, the search is being continued by scientists to learn more about these dinosaurs. They have been categorized in the family Hypsilophodontidae but this is still considered not to be correct by many scientists.

The Leaellynasaura had big eyes to see during the dark winters.
We've been unable to source an image of Leaellynasaura and have used an image of Edmontonia dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Leaellynasaura, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

How many bones did a Leaellynasaura have?

The exact number of bones in this species is not evaluated and is unknown to the world. Only the skeleton was discovered and that was also partial and not complete. Only 70 vertebrae have been found in their tail.

How did they communicate?

Scientists have not done much research. Perhaps on a general basis, it can be described that these ornithopods must have used their physical gestures, vocal, tactile, and olfactory cues in order to communicate with each other.

How big were the Leaellynasaura?

The length of these dinosaurs was 35.5 in (90 cm) and was 16 in (40 cm) tall.

How fast could a Leaellynasaura move?

There has not been much research done in the context of their speed, but these dinosaurs, due to their small weight and length, must have been fast and quick in their movements.

How much did a Leaellynasaura weigh?

The weight of a Leaellynasaura was 106-353 oz (3-10 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs of this species are known by their common names as no specific name has been given to either sex.

What would you call a baby Leaellynasaura?

The babies of this active polar dinosaur were called hatchlings or juveniles.

What did they eat?

The Leaellynasaura amicagraphica was a small herbivore polar dinosaur that lived in the Antarctic Circle and the search for food in their diet was primarily found in low-lying vegetation such as ferns and horsetails.

How aggressive were they?

The Leaellynasaura amicagraphica, first discovered in the Dinosaur Cove, southern Australia in the Early and Middle Cretaceous period, was an active polar dinosaur. As they were small herbivorous Australian dinosaurs, they must have been less aggressive. However, from the point of their living conditions, such as hibernation, they must have been aggressive and territorial.

Did you know...

The Leaellynasaura had their biggest rival predator, Australovenator, also known as the 'Polar Allosaur'. The Australovenator was a theropod dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous period from the Winton Formation of Australia. 

Why are they called Leaellynasaura?

The Leaellynasaura dinosaur was named after the daughter, Leaellyn Rich, of famous Australian scientists Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich. They are even known by the name Leaellyn's lizard.

Who discovered Leaellynasaura?

The Leaellynasaura was discovered by famous Australian scientists named Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich. They discovered these polar dinosaurs in 1989. Their fossils are kept in the Museum of Victoria.

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 Eocursor facts, or Fulgurotherium facts for kids.

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

Leaellynasaura Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small plants, ferns, clubmosses, and horsetails

what Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Red, gray, white, black, or brown

How Much Did They Weigh?

106-353 oz (3-10 kg)

Skin Type

Hair and fur

How Long Were They?

35.5 in (90 cm)

How Tall Were They?

16 in (40 cm)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia

Genus

Leaellynasaura

Family

N/A

Scientific Name

Leaellynasaura amicagraphica

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters and Australovenators

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Antarctic Circle

Where Did They Live?

Dinosaur Cove, Victoria, Australia
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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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