Tenontosaurus

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Quick Facts
NameTenontosaurus
Diet
Weight900 kg
Length7 meters
Height3 meters
Period
Tenontosaurus
Human

Tenontosaurus was a herbivore known from the late Aptian to Albian ages from the sediments of the mid-Cretaceous period of western North America. Its name means "sinewy lizard," in reference to the extensive tendons on its back and tail. Its fossils were found in places such as Texas, Utah, and Texas. Tenontosaurus lived alongside the ankylosaur Sauropelta, the coelurosaurid microvenomid and the hypsilopodontid Zephyrosaurus.

It was a medium-sized ornithopod that was on the lunch menu of the respectable raptor Deinonychus. It roamed around instead of Montana and Wyoming. Several dozen partial or complete skeletons of Tenontosaurus had been found, ranging from very small juveniles to adults nearly 22 feet long. The skeleton was discovered surrounded by numerous Deinonychus bones; this showed that predators and prey were all killed at the same time. 

Tenontosaurus had an extremely long and deep tail that was stiffened by "ossified tendons" that turned into bones. It walked and ran mainly on its hind legs. It had very strong front legs with short, wide front feet. It also had a long, flexible neck. It had no teeth in front of its mouth and had a horny beak for biting plants. But it had rows of strong, well-fitting teeth that crushed even the toughest plants.

During its time, the climate was quite warm and seasonal, with some rain. Tenontosaurus was the most abundant plant-eating dinosaur eating cycads, ferns and conifers were common, and flowering plants.

It was 6.5 to 8 meters long, about two thirds of the total length of the Tenontosaurus tail. It was 3 meters tall in bipedal position, with a mass of between 1 and 2 tons.

What does Tenontosaurus mean?

The name Tenontosaurus means "sinewy lizard", referring to the extensive tendons of the back and tail. 

Where was the Tenontosaurus found?

Tenontosaurus fossils had been found in places like Texas, Utah, and Texas.

How tall and huge is a Tenontosaurus?

It was 6.5 to 8 meters long, about two thirds of the total length of the Tenontosaurus tail. It was 3 meters tall in bipedal position, with a mass of between 1 and 2 tons. 

What kind of atmosphere does the Tenontosaurus live in?

During the Tenontosaurus epoch, the climate was quite warm and seasonal, with some rain.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

  • Maxwell, W. D.; Ostrom, J.H. (1995). "Taphonomy and paleobiological implications of. TenontosaurusDeinonychus associations". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 15 (4): 707-712.  (abstract)
  • Brinkman, Daniel L.; Cifelli, Richard L., Czaplewski, Nicholas J. (1998). ""First Occurrence of Deinonychus antirrhopus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Antlers Formation (Lower Cretaceous: Aptain-Albian) of Oklahoma"". Oklahoma Geological Survey (164): 27.  The reference uses the obsolete parameter |coauthors= (help)
  • Roach, B. T.; D. L. Brinkman (2007). "A reevaluation of cooperative pack hunting and gregariousness in. Deinonychus antirrhopus and other nonavian theropod dinosaurs". Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 48 (1): 103-138. doi:10.3374/0079-032X(2007)48[103:AROCPH]2.0.CO;2.  The reference uses the obsolete parameter |coauthors= (help)
  • Forster, C.A. (1984). "The paleoecology of the ornithopod dinosaur. Tenontosaurus tilletti from the Cloverly Formation, Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Montana." The Mosasaur, 2: 151-163.
  • Lee, Andrew H.; Werning, Sarah (2008). "Sexual maturity in growing dinosaurs does not fit reptilian growth models". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (2): 582-587. doi:10.1073/pnas.0708903105. 
  • Werning, S. (2012). "The Ontogenetic Osteohistology of Tenontosaurus tilletti".. In Farke, Andrew A, ed. PLoS ONE 7 (3): e33539. PMC 3314665. PMID 22470454. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033539. 
  • D'Emic, Michael D.; Melstrom, Keegan M.; Eddy, Drew R. (2012). "Paleobiology and geographic range of the large-bodied Cretaceous large-bodied Cretaceous theropod dinosaur. Acrocanthosaurus atokensis". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 333-334: 13-23. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.03.003. 
  • Wedel, M. J.; Cifelli, R. L. (2005). "SauroposeidonOklahoma's Native Giant". (PDF). Oklahoma Geology Notes 65 (2): 40-57. Archived from the original July 5, 2008. Accessed July 7, 2007. 
  • Forster, C. A. (1984). "The paleoecology of the ornithopod dinosaur. Tenontosaurus tilletti from the Cloverly Formation, Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Montana". The Mosasaur 2: 151-163. 
  • Weishampel, David B.; Barrett, Paul M.; Coria, Rodolfo A.; Le Loeuff, Jean; Xu Xing; Zhao Xijin; Sahni, Ashok; Gomani, Elizabeth, M.P.; and Noto, Christopher R. (2004). "Dinosaur Distribution", in The Dinosauria (2nd), p. 264.
  • Brinkman, Daniel L.; Cifelli, Richard L.; & Czaplewski, Nicholas J. (1998). "First occurrence of Deinonychus antirrhopus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Antlers Formation (Lower Cretaceous: Aptian - Albian) of Oklahoma". Oklahoma Geological Survey Bulletin 146: 1-27.
  • Nydam, R.L. and R. L. Cifelli. 2002a. Lizards from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) Antlers and Cloverly formations. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 22:286-298.
  • Cifelli, R. Gardner, J.D., Nydam, R.L., and Brinkman, D.L. 1999. Additions to the vertebrate fauna of the Antlers Formation (Lower Cretaceous), southeastern Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geology Notes 57:124-131.
  • Kielan-Jarorowska, Z., and Cifelli, R.L. 2001. Primitive boreosphenidan mammal (?Deltatheroida) from the Early Cretaceous of Oklahoma. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 46: 377-391.
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • Tenontosaurus was the most abundant herbivorous dinosaur of its time.
  • Their fossils had been found in places like Texas, Utah, and Texas.
  • The skeleton was discovered surrounded by numerous Deinonychus bones.
  • About two-thirds of the total length of the Tenontosaurus was the tail.
  • It reproduced by laying eggs.

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