Fun Pegomastax Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Feb 20, 2024 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Sep 25, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Pegomastax facts include that these bizarre-looking dinosaurs were known to live in South Africa in the early Jurassic period.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

The Pegomastax is a Heterodontosaurid dinosaur found in early Jurassic rocks of South Africa. Fossils of this genus were first found in rocks of the upper Elliot formation in Voyizane, Joe Gqabi District, Cape province of South Africa. Fossils were found in the rock formation which dates back to the early Jurassic period. Although fossils were discovered and collected in an expedition in 1966-1967, the Pegomastax wasn't described until 2012. Paul Sereno recognized this species as unusual in the 1980s but only described the dinosaur in the year 2012. There is also a type species called Pegomastax africana. They were known to have tiny 1-inch long jaws and the meaning of the name is 'strong jaw'. These dinosaurs differ from other Heterodontosaurids by details of the skull. Details from fossils collected show that the lower jaw was strong and robust with a short beak. There can be seen an enlarged canine-like tooth at the start of the tooth row in the lower jaw. This probably helped the dinosaur take a food item for themselves and also defend against predators. There is not much content on these dinosaurs and they were only known to be found in the range of current-day South Africa.

These dinosaurs of the order Ornithischia were named for their strong jaws. The weird-looking species of plant-eating dinosaurs thrived during the lower Jurassic period around 200 million years ago. They probably lived in a small community or in pairs with their partners. However, this information cannot be corroborated as only a part of the skeleton has been found to date. They probably chose open areas as their habitats in an terrestrial environment. Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, once said that the species could be a nice pet if taming it was possible.

For more content, check out these Serendipaceratops facts and Pukyongosaurus fun facts for kids.

Pegomastax Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Pegomastax '?

The pronunciation of the dinosaur named Pegomastax is 'Peg-o-mas-taks'.

What type of dinosaur was a Pegomastax?

Probably a community dinosaur, the Pegomastax was a Heterodontosaurid dinosaur discovered in the early Jurassic period of South Africa. The species was probably the size of a domestic cat with a parrot-like beak with two canine teeth at the front and tall teeth at the back. Teeth at the back were used to slice plants. The species was probably covered in bristles, similar to a porcupine. The type species is named Pegomastax africana with a meaning of 'thick jaw/strong jaw from Africa'. Sereno described it as a bird, vampire, or a porcupine.

In which geological period did the Pegomastax roam the Earth?

These dinosaurs were known to live in the early Jurassic period in South Africa. Their fossils were found in rocks of the region.

When did the Pegomastax become extinct?

They probably lived in a range of 100 to 200 million years ago. These dinosaurs were known to be present in the early Jurassic period in the Hettangian–Sinemurian age.

Where did a Pegomastax live?

These dinosaurs were known to live in South Africa, probably in a small community with their partners. However, not much content is available in the topic. Fossils of this dinosaur were found in  Voyizane, Joe Gqabi District, Cape province. A single specimen of the herbivore species was collected from red rocks in southern Africa in the 1960s. The dinosaur was discovered at last by a paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence named Paul Sereno from a collection of fossils at Harvard University.

The species was found in rocks of the upper Elliot formation. This rock formation date backs to the first part of the early Jurassic period, approximately 200 to 190 million years ago.

These small bird-like dinosaurs could take back any item with their beak, at least that is what scientists presume due to these dinosaurs' strong jaw.

What was a Pegomastax's habitat?

We just know that this species was found in terrestrial regions back in South Africa. The community of these dinosaurs probably had a range in all of Africa as they scoured the area for plants and vegetation.

This bizarre looking dinosaur was touted to be like a vampire because of its teeth.

Who did a Pegomastax live with?

No content is available to determine the company these dinosaurs of the order Ornithischia used to keep. They probably lived in a small community or with partners in their natural habitats. The last point cannot be proven as not much content is available about the dinosaur at this time.

How long did a Pegomastax live?

We don't know the life span of this species of dinosaur as only limited content has been found and sent back to paleontologists. There is not enough data to determine the age of these Pegomastax dinosaurs.

How did they reproduce?

There is no content on the reproduction of this species. We do know that these dinosaurs were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. The number of eggs or the item used to make nests are still unknown. Dinosaurs, according to content from the Internet, laid a clutch of around three to five eggs at a time. Some even say that the clutch size can go up to 15 or 20 in some instances.

Pegomastax Fun Facts

What did a Pegomastax look like?

These dinosaurs we are discussing had a very characteristic and bizarre look with a very short jaw. You can say the skull and jaw made it look like a dinosaurian parrot. It looked similar to a bird with a beak but there are fangs right behind it on both the upper and lower side. It was a very small dinosaur with a length around 2 ft (60.9 cm). If we guess correctly, the dinosaur was similarly-sized to a house cat. The weight would probably be the same too. A bristle-like covering was probably present in these dinosaurs to fend off predators. We know that instead of having big spikes like Stegosaurs, this dinosaur had thin, long spikes.

These dinosaurs had a pair of stabbing canines in their thick jaw. Tall teeth were tucked behind which were probably used to slice plants. Tall teeth present in the upper and lower jaws probably acted as self-sharpening scissors. When the jaws closed, the teeth slid past one another. The skull is similar to a parrot's, around three inches long.

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

How many bones did a Pegomastax have?

The number of bones is not known as the full content of the skeleton has not been retrieved yet.

How did they communicate?

We don't know the mode of communication of these dinosaurs. Most dinosaurs in the world probably communicated with the help of vocals or visuals. Many dinosaurs would have even showed different postures to communicate with each other. Postures were probably used to intimidate predators or to attract partners. There were probably self-defence and competitive sparring between males, as given in the content provided by Sereno.

How big was a Pegomastax?

These were very small dinosaurs with just an estimated length of around 2 ft (60.9 cm). The skull was small too if compared with others in the family.

How fast could a Pegomastax move?

The speed of the species is not known as no content is available on running and legs of these dinosaurs. However, due to their small size, they were probably very agile and quick in some circumstances.

How much did a Pegomastax weigh?

The weight of the species is not known. Many scientists have predicted the weight of this 2 ft (60.9 cm) species to be similar to a house cat. A house cat weighs between 7.9-9.9 lb (3.5-4.4 kg), so we can only assume that the Pegomastax dinosaur too weighed around the same.

What were the male and female names of the species?

We don't know what names males and females were given for the species as the content available has no information on that.

What would you call a baby Pegomastax?

We don't know the name of the baby of a Pegomastax dinosaur.

What did they eat?

They were known to be strictly herbivorous and ate plants and vegetation in the habitat they lived in. They used their canine-like teeth to tear leaves.

How aggressive were they?

They were known to be a little aggressive.

Did you know...

This dinosaur did exist and was very real as fossils have been found in South Africa.

The Pegomastax lived about 200 million years back.

These dinosaurs probably were bipedal and could be considered endemic to Africa.

Did the Pegomastax steal from other dinosaurs?

They probably stole from other dinosaurs due to their nature and quick feet.

What did a Pegomastax do?

This was a peculiar-looking herbivore dinosaur that was known to be quick to steal. It was also used in a game called Ark Survival Evolved where the dinosaur could be tamed and trained to steal random items from other survivors.

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 Archaeoceratops facts, or Geranosaurus fun facts for kids.

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

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

Fun Pegomastax Facts For Kids

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

Skin Type

Thin, long spikes

How Long Were They?

Estimated to be 2 ft (60.9 cm) long

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Clade: Dinosauria

Genus

Pegomastax

Family

Heterodontosauridae

Scientific Name

Pegomastax africana

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters
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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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