This week’s dinosaur is the Compsognathus which is ridiculously hard to spell. Because this week is my husband’s birthday (Happy birthday, Rob!), he got to pick the dinosaur. Why he picked this one, I’m not exactly sure but it sure is fun to say. Most dinosaurs names are though. In any case, the Compsognathus was named in 1859 by Johann Wagner. The Compsognathus was a small dinosaur from the late Jurassic period weighing in at a measly 6.5 pounds but it is not the smallest dinosaur on record. There’s no fossil evidence for feathers for this animal so it could well have looked a bit more like a bipedal monitor lizard.
There isn’t actually much in the way of fossil record for the Compsognathus but there’s enough to figure out that these dinosaurs ate lizards, lived in what was, at the time, a tropical paradise but is now Europe. The first discovered Compsognathus fossil was a very interesting and rare example of predation as it had a lizard in its belly in the fossil.
As far as famous Compsognathus, there aren’t many. The Jurassic Park movies had them, Dino Dan had them, the Minecraft archeology mod has them but I can’t think of a compy character and Google didn’t help me there.