Skip to content

I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Compsognathus (Episode 57)


    Episode 57 is all about Compsognathus, a small dinosaur whose title means “elegant jaw.”

    Hope you’re having fun with the vacations! Huge thanks to our Patreon supporters; we couldn’t maintain going with out you! For those who get pleasure from our free weekly podcast and are fascinated about studying extra about I Know Dino on Patreon, then please see our Patreon web page at:

    You may hearken to our free podcast, with all our episodes, on iTunes at:

    On this episode, we talk about:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Compsognathus
    • Identify means “fairly jaw” or “elegant,” “refined” or “dainty”
    • Just one legitimate species, Compsagnathus longipes
    • Lived within the late Jurassic
    • Fossils present in Germany (1850s) and France greater than 100 years later
    • Specimen present in France was bigger than the German one, and regarded as a separate species, C. corallestris (not legitimate)
    • Virginia Morell renamed Sinosauropteryx prima to Compsognathus prima in 1997, however most individuals don’t settle for this
    • German specimen found in 1859 in Bavaria, identical space Archaeopteryx fossils have been discovered
    • Johann A. Wagner named Compsognathus longipes and described it in 1861
    • German specimen is 35 in (89 cm) lengthy
    • French specimen present in 1971 by Louis Ghirardi. Alain Bidar described it as a brand new species, C. corallestris, however John Ostrom, Jean-Man Michard and different paleontologists have labeled it since as C. longipes (Quimby stated the smaller German specimen was a juvenile). The Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past in Paris acquired the French Composagnathus in 1983
    • French specimen is 49 in (125 cm) lengthy
    • Largest Compsagnathus (France) weighed between 1.8 and seven.7 lb (0.83 and three.5 kg), estimate
    • Enamel present in Portugal may be Compsagnathus
    • In 1998, Jens Zinke stated that 49 tooth present in Portugal belonged to Compsognathus (not identifcal to C. longipes because it has serrations on the entrance tooth, and Compsognathus entrance tooth have been unserrated, however has normal similarities)
    • German specimen had solely two digits on every forelimb (so scientists thought it solely had two digits), however the French specimen had three digits (the German specimen’s third digit simply wasn’t fossilized)
    • One paleontologist thought Compsognathus had webbed forefeet that seemed like flippers. And the 1975 e-book The Evolution and Ecology of the Dinosaurs exhibits Compsognathus as amphibious. Nonetheless, Ostrom stated this wasn’t doable, because the French and German specimens have been the identical besides for his or her sizes
    • Marsh thought the lizards discovered within the German Compsognathus‘ stomach was an embryo (1881) however Franz Nopcsa in 1903 stated it was a lizard. Ostrom recognized it because the lizard Bavarisaurus (quick and agile runner), which exhibits Compsognathus was quick (in a position to outrun the lizard) and had good imaginative and prescient. The lizard is in a single piece, so Compsognathus swallowed it entire
    • Scientists used to assume that they had discovered Compsognathus eggs, since they have been discovered shut by, however now they assume they’re be aware Compy eggs (since they weren’t discovered inside Compsognathus, eggs have been 10 mm lengthy), and its relative Sinosauropteryx had preserved eggs in oviducts that have been a lot bigger, 36 mm lengthy)
    • Thomas Huxley in contrast Compsognathus and Archaeopteryx in 1868; John Ostrom redescribed it in 1978 (grew to become top-of-the-line identified small theropods)
    • Compsognathus and Archaeopteryx have related shapes and proportions (two Archaeopteryx specimens have been mislabelled as Compsognathus for some time). Now different dinosaurs are seen as extra intently associated to brids: Deinonychus, Oviraptor, Segnosaurus
    • Compsognathus is similiar to among the earliest dinosaurs, just like the small theropods Herrerasaurus and Eoraptor (bipedal archosaur from the Triassic, 80 million years earlier than Compsognathus); related in look and conduct
    • Small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod
    • Grew as much as the scale of a turkey, although has been described as chicken-sized (attributable to a specimen present in Germany, which is now regarded as a juvenile)
    • Was once thought-about the smallest identified dinosaur (smaller ones now embody Caenagnathasia, Microraptor, Parvicursor)
    • However could have additionally been the dominant dinosaur in its space
    • The place Compsognathus was discovered (France and Germany) had lagoons, seashores, and coral reefs, and was once islands
    • Different animals within the space on the time included Archaeopteryx, and pterosaurs, fish, mollusks, crustaceans (no different dinosaurs discovered, which can imply Compsognathus was the highest predator)
    • Had small, sharp tooth (ate small vertebrates and presumably bugs); entrance tooth on the premaxilla have been unserrated and again tooth have been recurved and flattened (tooth used to establish Compsagnathus and shut kinfolk)
    • Small lizard stays present in each Compsagnathus bellies (one of many few dinosaurs the place we all know for certain what they ate)
    • Might have additionally eaten small mammals (based mostly on nicely preserved fossils of its relative, Sinosauropteryx)
    • No proof that Compies traveled in backs or hunted to take down bigger animals, although it wouldn’t be uncommon for a small creature to have that type of social conduct
    • Had a slender cranium with lengthy snout; had massive eyes
    • Had an extended neck, so it might rapidly transfer its head facet to facet, and will additionally put its head in undergrowth and pull out prey that was hiding
    • Forelimbs have been smaller than hindlimbs, had three digits with claws
    • Had lengthy hind legs and lengthy tails, used for stability
    • Ft have been digitigrade (balanced on its toes), so its major foot bones prolonged the size of its leg and elevated its stride (helped or not it’s sooner)
    • One research in 2007 estimated that Compsognathus might run as much as 40 mph, based mostly on measurements and hypothetical weights of some carnivorous dinosaurs
    • Might have had feather-like constructions on physique (although none have been discovered)
    • Some kinfolk, like Sinosauropteryx and Sinocalliopteryx, had easy feathers preserved (coated the physique like fur)
    • One relative, Juravenator starki, had a patch of fossilized pores and skin with primarily scales (some proof of straightforward feathers too), however which will imply not all dinosaurs of their group have been coated in feathers
    • Can see a forged of Compsagnathus on the Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past (based mostly on fossils Joseph Oberndorfer acquired in Bavaria in 1859)
    • Compsognathus seems in lots of kids’s dinosaur books, as a result of for a very long time they have been the one small dinosaur identified
    • Compsognathus can be within the motion pictures The Misplaced World, Jurassic Park III
    • Within the Misplaced World, a personality misindentifies a Compsognathus as Compsognathus triassicus (combing Compsognathus longipes with Procompsognathus triassicus, a distantly associated carnivore within the Jurassic Park novels
    • Known as Compys in Jurassic lego recreation
    • Within the recreation Ark, there are wild and domesticated Compys. In packs they change into aggressive and assault. Alone they could be a pet. They’re additionally curious relating to people
    • Household is Compsognathidae (small dinosaurs from the late Jurassic and early Cretaceous that lived in what’s now China, Europe, and South America)
    • Compsognathus was the one member of Compsognathidae for a very long time, however now consists of Aristosuchus, Huaxiagnathus, Mirischia, Sinosauropteryx
    • Pores and skin impressions of Juravenator, Sinosauropteryx and Sinocalliopteryx present proof of primitive feathers protecting their our bodies. Juravenator and Compsognathus have proof of scales on the tail or hind legs.
    • Scientists debate on the place Compsognathidae lies within the coelurosaur group. Some say it’s probably the most basal of coelurosaurs, and others say it’s a part of Maniraptora
    • Enjoyable truth: The Chicxulub impactor was both a comet or asteroid that was between 10 and 15km or 6 to 9 miles in diameter. Mars has a moon known as Deimos (the Greek God personifying terror – and the identical root as “dinos” in dinosaur) that’s proper in the midst of that vary.