Fun Paranthodon Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Feb 20, 2024 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Learn the most amazing and brilliant 17 Paranthodon facts for your kid.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

The Paranthodon dinosaur is known only from the Cretaceous period in the location of southern Africa. It lived between 100 and 145 million years ago, about 50 to 80 million years before the Tyrannosaurus rex roamed. The most interesting fact about this species of dinosaur is that it was an herbivore although many other dinosaurs were carnivores. Another curiosity surrounding these animals is their teeth which reveal a lot about how they ate plants during prehistoric times when no smooth grasses yet existed on Earth. The dinosaur's name means 'near to Paranthropus'. It was found similar in identification to a group of partial Australopithecines (which were partial herbivorous hominids). The description of the discovered fossil and specimen by the British scientist Franz was that it had four short legs and walked on two feet like humans do today. Partial remains of this new genus found in South Africa by Franz Nopcsa are important fossils because its features appear to have been transitional between sauropods (long-necked animals) like the Brachiosaurus and smaller dinosaurs that would eventually evolve into more familiar forms such as the Stegosaurus or the Ankylosaurus with shorter necks than the Paranthodon but much bigger skulls and broom or coombs tails. This suggests that some of these later trademark features might not be closely related to each other evolutionarily speaking; they may all simply represent different partial evolutionary paths taken by long-necked plant-eaters on separate continents after splitting up during the breakup of continents!

Find more relatable and exciting content about the Eosinopteryx and the Mercuriceratops for kids!

Paranthodon Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Paranthodon'?

The new genus of dinosaurs, Paranthodon, discovered by Franz Nopcsa, is pronounced 'par-ahn-tho-' don. 

What type of dinosaur was a Paranthodon?

A Paranthodon owenii of the genus Paranthodon is a type of herbivorous, quadrupedal stegosaurian dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic period roughly 170 million years ago.

In which geological period did the Paranthodon roam the Earth?

In the early Jurassic period, an incredibly unique and fascinating creature by the name of Paranthodon africanus was roaming around our planet as well as other parts of the location Africa.

When did the Paranthodon become extinct?

The Paranthodon africanus became extinct around the Paleogene boundary, about 66 million years ago.

Where did a Paranthodon live?

Paranthodon africanus dinosaurs lived in a variety of habitats, including woodlands and grasslands.

What was a Paranthodon's habitat?

The long-snouted, beaked herbivore called the Paranthodon of the genus Paranthodon once roamed across what is now southern and eastern Africa during the middle to late Jurassic period (200 million years ago) alongside dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, the Brachiosaurus, the Diplodocus, and the Stegosaurus.

Who did a Paranthodon live with?

Paranthodon stegosaurs of the genus Paranthodon lived with the Brontosaurus, Stegosaurids, and other dinosaurs. They had strong legs and coombs or broom-like tails that enabled them to run quickly through forests as well. They has long necks which allowed them to eat from tall trees.

How long did a Paranthodon live?

This is a question that remains unanswered, as the only evidence we have of this dinosaur's life of the genus Paranthodon consists entirely of its fossil, remains and bones like the premaxilla, the partial nasal-maxilla, the skull, and a jaw.

How did they reproduce?

The Paranthodon stegosaur lived in Africa between 165-90 million years ago. It is believed that they reproduced by laying eggs because some evidence of their eggshells could be found near their remains and fossil!

Paranthodon Fun Facts

What did a Paranthodon look like?

The Paranthodon owenii Stegosaurus species of the genus Paranthodon was a medium-size Stegosaurus of the Jurassic period. It had bony plates on its back, skull, and jaw as suggested by its remains, and may have also possessed spikes or coombs similar to a broom at the end of its tail, which could be used to defend itself against predators. It had large eyes and probably hunted at night, hunting insects mostly by smell with its peg-like teeth. The Paranthodon's jaws could open really wide to help it feed on leaves from bushes or trees because its legs didn't allow it to reach high places easily due to being short for dinosaurs of this time - so eating plants found low down would have been easier.

The tail of this species has coombs, making for a broom-like appearance, and the dinosaur has a peculiar premaxilla and upper maxilla jaw that help in its identification.

How many bones did a Paranthodon have?

There were over 200 bones in the skeleton of an ancient Stegosaurus species called a Paranthodon.

How did they communicate?

The Paranthodon owenii of the genus Paranthodon communicated with each other by a series of low grunts, groans, and hisses using their sharp teeth for identification of other members. They also used their hands for gestures to communicate as well.

How big was a Paranthodon?

These are some of the largest Stegosaurs of the Jurassic period ever discovered. They were about 16 ft (4.9 m) long and 9 ft (2.7 m) high!

How fast could a Paranthodon move?

A Paranthodon or Anthodon could move as fast as a human can run. It belonged to South African regions.

How much did a Paranthodon weigh?

The Paranthodon or Anthodon stegosauria was classified as a large herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic period in history. It weighed 1,000-2,000 lb (453.6-907.2 kg) and had sharp teeth.

What were the male and female names of the species?

So far, we do not know of any sex-specific terms associated with this Anthodon stegosauria dinosaur. Both females and males are known as Paranthodon dinosaurs.

What would you call a baby Paranthodon?

Their babies simply go by the name Paranthodon or Anthodon babies!

What did they eat?

The Paranthodon (similar to the Anthodon) of Africa classified as a stegosauria was a bipedal herbivore, which means that it ate plants with the help of its super strong and sharp teeth. It mostly only had access to leaves and grass material but sometimes trees as well depending on the habitat of its region.

How aggressive were they?

The Paranthodon or Anthodon owenii, unlike many of its dinosaur relatives, was not classified as very aggressive. These dinosaurs had small teeth that may have been used to chew up plant material and branches but they probably did not use these for defense or attack purposes.

Is the Paranthodon an ankylosaurid or a stegosaurid?

The Paranthodon or the Anthodon was classified as a mysterious stegosaurid whose specimen formation has been estimated to have lived during the post-Cretaceous period. No one can decide for sure if it was an Ankylosaur or a Stegosaurus, but this dinosaur was unique and was probably a stegosaurid.

When was the Paranthodon discovered?

The Paranthodon or the Anthodon was discovered in 1845 by Dr. James E. Lee, a member of the Geological Survey of Great Britain and Ireland (GSI). He found remains and a fossil at Lesotho, South Africa in the Bokkeveld shale rock 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 Atrociraptor facts or Pawpawsaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by FunkMonk

Second image by Thomas J. Raven​, Susannah C.R. Maidment. The Natural History Museum, London

Fun Paranthodon Facts For Kids

How Much Did They Weigh?

1,000-2,000 lb (453.6-907.2 kg)

Skin Type

Thick scales

How Long Were They?

16 ft (4.9 m)

How Tall Were They?

9 ft (2.7 m)




Clade: Dinosauria





Scientific Name

Paranthodon africanus

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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