Fun Lesothosaurus Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Oct 20, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 28, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Here are some fun and interesting Lesothosaurus facts to learn and discover about these bipedal Ornithischians during the early Jurassic period.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

The Lesothosaurus is a genus of dinosaurs with the one type species, Lesothosaurus diagnosticus. The generic name is deciphered as 'lizard from Lesotho'. It is considered a basal member within the order Ornithischia. It had similar teeth as other Ornithischians but it was an opportunistic omnivore. While it lived during the early Jurassic period, it was unearthed in 1978 by Peter Galton from the Upper Elliot formation. It was considered to be one of the smallest dinosaurs with long legs and four-toed feet. It was a fast runner. It is thought that the clawed feet were used to fight off the Lesothosaurus' predators. It has a multifaceted taxonomic history as it was mistakenly thought to be a Fabrosaurus.

If the uniqueness of the Lesothosaurus makes you interested in reading more about similar species, you can read about the Caviramus and the Puertasaurus

Lesothosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Lesothosaurus'?

Lesothosaurus is pronounced as 'leh-so-tho-sore-us'. The genus was named by an American paleontologist in 1978 meaning 'lizard from Lesotho'.

What type of dinosaur was a Lesothosaurus?

The Lesothosaurus was a genus of the primitive and earliest member of the order Ornithischia (plant-eater dinosaurs) within the clade Genasauria. It was a small, bipedal omnivore dinosaur that lived during the early Jurassic epoch around 199-189 million years ago. The species belonging to the genus had the binomial name Lesothosaurus diagnosticus.

In which geological period did the Lesothosaurus roam the Earth?

The Lesothosaurus lived during the early Jurassic period around 199-189 million years ago, but fossil remains of the dinosaur were found and named in 1978 by the American paleontologist Peter Galton.

When did the Lesothosaurus become extinct?

Most likely, the Lesothosaurus found during the early Jurassic period was an extinct prehistoric animal by the middle Jurassic period around 150 million years ago. The era of dinosaurs, in general, ended 66 million years ago, while reptiles and modern birds are considered descendants of prehistoric animals. Although the dinosaur did not have any major threats, natural calamities, habitat loss, and predators including Pterosaurs and Crocodilians were some factors leading to extinction.

Where did a Lesothosaurus live?

The Lesothosaurus, meaning 'lizard from Lesotho,' lived in South Africa during the early Jurassic epoch. More specifically, Lesothosaurus fossil remains were found in Lesotho so the origin of the dinosaur is traced back to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Several species of Ornithischians were found residing around the seven continents. For instance, Ornithischians including the Valdosaurus, and the Scelidosaurus were found in various states of Europe.

What was a Lesothosaurus's habitat?

The Lesothosaurus dinosaur lived in dry plains, arid deserts, and woodlands of South Africa and Lesotho.

Who did a Lesothosaurus live with?

Lesothosaurus dinosaurs often lived in groups and they were found in pairs during the mating season. They were thought to have lived along with other primitive dinosaurs including the Massospondylus, the Thecodontosaurus, the Lanasaurus, and the Heterodontosaurus found in South Africa during the early to middle Jurassic period.

How long did a Lesothosaurus live?

While the Lesothosaurus would have lived for a considerable number of years, the estimated life span is unrecorded.

How did they reproduce?

The Ornithischian dinosaur, Lesothosaurus, is yet another oviparous species that laid amniotic eggs.

Lesothosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Lesothosaurus look like?

The Lesothosaurus 'lizard from Lesotho' was a small, bipedal dinosaur. The Lesothosaurus face was known to have large cavities around its large eyes. Further, it had a short and flat head with large eyes and a beak-like snout on the end. The beak-like snout was pointed and the dinosaur had arrow-like teeth beneath its cheek and pointed front teeth. The lower jaw of the dinosaur ended into a toothless bone. It had a lizard-like appearance but moved on its two hind legs. The front two legs were short with hands for grasping. The dinosaur had two long hind legs with four-toed feet, two short arms with five-fingered hands, a long pointed tail, a flexible neck, and a small head.

The Lesothosaurus is one of the Ornithischian dinosaurs having a short and flat head with large eyes, a flexible neck, and a long pointed tail.

How many bones did a Lesothosaurus have?

The number of bones in the Lesothosaurus skeleton is not calculated. An incomplete bone of the lower jaw found in Lesotho revealed similarities between the Lesothosaur and the Fabrosaurus. The Lesothosaurus is thus known to be closely related to the Fabrosaurus.

How did they communicate?

The dinosaur was known to communicate vocally and through gestures and motions.

How big was a Lesothosaurus?

The length of the Lesothosaurus was between 7-8 ft (2-2.5 m), and it was 1-1.6 ft (0.3-0.5 m) tall. In comparison, the size of Lesothosaurus was almost six times bigger than the Anchiornis huxleyi. The Anchiornis huxleyi was the smallest dinosaur with a length of up to 1.2 ft (34 cm).

How fast could a Lesothosaurus move?

The Lesothosaurus was a small, bipedal dinosaur known to be fast and agile, but the exact speed remains unknown.

How much did a Lesothosaurus weigh?

The Lesothosaurus was a small, lightweight dinosaur weighing around 7-22 lb (3-10 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male dinosaurs do not have sex-specific names. Often a male dinosaur would be called a saurus and a female dinosaur's common name is stated to be a saura. The binomial name of the Lesothosaurus diagnosticus has a couple of synonyms including the Stormbergia dangershoeki and the Fabrosaurus australis.

What would you call a baby Lesothosaurus?

While a baby dinosaur does not have a specific binomial name, juvenile dinosaurs can be called babies or hatchlings.

What did they eat?

Although the Lesothosaurus phylogeny highlights the dinosaur to be one of the members from the order Ornithischia and primarily a plant-eater, the Lesothosaurus diagnosticus was occasionally found preying upon small animals, carrion, and insects for meat. Unlike Ornithischians, it had an omnivore's diet. Jaws and teeth of the dinosaur were thought to have been designed to chew plants. A plant grown during the arid climate was part of this dinosaur's diet. It would also prey upon small animals when plants were not edible.

How aggressive were they?

The Lesothosaurus was one of the primitive dinosaurs among Ornithischians with a small body and a long tail. It was known as a fast and agile runner but there is no record of whether it had an aggressive temperament. It did probably fight off its predators using its clawed feet.

Did you know...

The taxonomic classification of the Lesothosaurus describes it as an early and basal member from the group of Ornithischians. While Ornithischians were known to have an herbivore diet, the Lesothosaurus was an opportunistic omnivore having serrated teeth. It was a fast and agile runner with long hind legs and four-toed feet.

What was the Lesothosaurus's food source?

The Lesothosaurus diet primarily comprised the arid-climate plant, and it was an opportunistic omnivore. Since teeth of these dinosaurs were sharp in the front with grinding teeth at the back, teeth were equipped for shredding soft plants.

Where was the Lesothosaurus found?

It was one of the Ornithischian dinosaurs found around South Africa. The taxonomic history of the Lesothosaurus was recorded from fossils of dinosaurs found in the Upper Elliot formation.

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 Incisivosaurus facts and Brachytrachelopan facts for kids.

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


Hero image: Jack Wood

Second image- Conty

Lesothosaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants, the meat of small animals, carrions, and insects

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Green, yellow, brown, gray, and black

How Much Did They Weigh?

7-22 lb (3-10 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

7-8 ft (2-2.5 m)

How Tall Were They?

1-1.6 ft (0.3-0.5 m)









Scientific Name

Lesothosaurus diagnosticus

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural calamities, predators, and habitat loss

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Dry plains, arid deserts, and woodlands

Where Did They Live?

South Africa
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

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.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction