Top 10 Smallest Carnivorous Dinosaurs

Not all dinosaurs were huge, although they primarily stimulate our imagination. Many dinosaurs were small in size. The smallest dinosaurs are were less than two feet long, and certainly not scary. In this article, we have listed 10 small dinosaurs, do you know any of them?

  1. Compsognathus

Compsognathus is a genus of small, bipedal, carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. Members of its single species Compsognathus longipes could grow to around the size of a turkey. Compsognathus was a small dinosaur that walked on its two hind legs. It was a theropod, which is a group of meat-eating dinosaurs that also includes–believe it or not–giants such as T-Rex and Spinosaurus. Some of the compsognathus only have 39cm.


Compsognathus 3

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      2. Microraptor

With its feathers and four primitive wings (one pair each on its forearms and hind legs), the early Cretaceous Microraptor might easily have been mistaken for a bizarrely mutated pigeon. This was, however, a genuine raptor, in the same family as Velociraptor and Deinonychus, albeit one that only measured about two feet from head to tail and weighed only a few pounds. Befitting its tiny size, paleontologists believe that Microraptor subsisted on a diet of insects.


3. Anchiornis huxleyi
Anchiornis huxleyi was a tiny, long-legged, winged dinosaur. Covered in feathers, it is seen by many as an evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds. It lived in what is now China, in the late Jurassic period.
With long feathers found on both fore and hind limbs, Anchiornis huxleyi may have been a better glider than it was a flyer – if it left the ground at all! One of the smallest dinosaurs yet discovered, Anchiornis huxleyi weighed between 110 and 700 grams and was about 40 cm in length.

3.Anchiornis huxleyi

Anchiornis statue 1
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4. Epidexipteryx hui
Epidexipteryx hui was a small bird-like dinosaur. It lived in what is now Inner Mongolia in China around 160 to 168 million years ago, in the mid to late Jurassic period. The most striking feature of Epidexipteryx hui was its four long tail feathers. Scientists think that these provided balance for climbing in trees rather than aiding flight. It is likely that Epidexipteryx hui would have been a glider if it left the ground at all. Epidexipteryx hui belongs on the smallest dinosaur list, being only 44.5 cm (17.5 in) in length–including those long tail feathers–and weighing 164 to 391 g.

4.Epidexipteryx hui

5. Parvicursor
Parvicursor remotes was a tiny Alvarezsaurian dinosaur, with extended slender legs for fast running. Only 45 to 55 cm (18 to 22 in) from snout to end of the tail, it may have been the negligible dinosaur known. Like other alvarezsaurs, Parvicursor’s forelimbs were small and stubby, with hands all but completely turned into a single big claw, perhaps for opening tough termite mounds or other types of digging.


6. Nqwebasaurus
Nqwebasaurus is one of the earliest known Ornithomimosaurs, that group of dinosaurs that would evolve to look vaguely like living Ostriches with longer tails – except those that looked like demon ducks, that is. Nqwebasaurus, thus, resembles what you’d expect the earliest member of this group to be – with some traits of later forms, but still overall looking like your generic small and fluffy theropod.


7. Hesperonychus
Hesperonychus (meaning “western claw”) was a genus of small, carnivorous dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. There is one described species, Hesperonychus elizabethae; the type species was named in honor of the woman who collected it in 1982. It is known from fossils recovered from the lowermost strata of the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, dating to the Late Cretaceous Period (Campanian stage) about 76.5 million years ago).


8. Archaeoceratops
Archaeoceratops, meaning “ancient horned face”, is a genus of basal neoceratopsian dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of north-central China. It appears to have been bipedal and quite small with a comparatively large head.


9. Psittacosaurus gobiensis
Impression of newly discovered species of parrot-beaked dinosaur, Psittacosaurus gobiensis. Scientists first discovered psittacosaurs in the Gobi Desert in 1922, calling them “parrot-beaked” for their resemblance to parrots. Psittacosaurs evolved their strong-jawed, nut-eating habits 60 million years before the earliest parrot.

Psittacosaurus gobiensis

Psittacosaurus fossil

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       10. Micropachycephalosaurus
Micropachycephalosaurus is an Ornithischian dinosaur that lived in China during the Late Cretaceous, between 70 – 68 million years ago. Its name means a “small, thick-headed lizard”. Although it has the longest name of any other dinosaur to date, it is the smallest dinosaur (0.5 to 1 meter long).


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