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Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
SuperOrder: Dinosauria
Order: Theropoda
Family: Compsognathidae
Genus: Compsognathus
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Compsognathus is known from two almost complete skeletons that were found. One being found in 1853 at the location of Germany, Bavaria, and the other was found in France, Nice in the year of 1972. The species was briefly described in 1859 by Johann Wagner.

Compsognathus (name meaning "dainty") was a very small dinosaur that was about the size of a chicken. It was a carnivore of the Theropoda group. Compsognathus dinosaurs are known for sure to have eaten agile lizards because the fossil finding in France showed preserved food that was in the stomach of the fossil. For century's this was thought to be the smallest dinosaur to exist, but years later the Microraptor was found which actually was a fair bit smaller. Compsognathus estimated weight was six and a half pounds. They had long hind legs, a longer tail, and three fingers with solid claws on each one. It also had a delicate skull that was narrow and long with a tapered snout. In top of that the skull of the Compsognathus had five pairs of fenestrae (openings in the skull). A few Compsognathus teeth were found in Portugal, but no other fossils were found for this dinosaur in that region, so this information is inconclusive. However the teeth were very small, but sharp. The front teeth were unserrated, while the back was not. This was very useful to determine what dinosaur group the Compsognathus should've been in (Theropoda).

Just for fun we have a soundclip available for you to hear what a Compsognathus could've sounded like. Click to the Dinosaur Sounds area to hear it. Please note that the dinosaur sounds are only for entertainment and are not an actual fact.


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