Period of life: 125 MYA
Hypsilophodon ("high-ridged tooth" in Latin) is a small Cretaceous period herbivorous dinosaur lived about 125 million years ago. First recovery was made in 1849 on the Isle of Wight in England by construction workers. First, the skeletal structure was incorrectly determined to belong to arboreal creature. However, paleonthologist Peter Galton amended the misinterpretation after bone structure modeling and turning the claws into the right direction.
Being almost 2 metres in high and only 20 kilograms weight Hypsilophodon was very nimble and fast, hiding from predators in the coarse grass. Low posture helped providing a perfect balance. The reptile limbs were thin light and lengthy with powerful hind limbs muscles similar to a living ostrich.
The reptile also had a remarkably sharp vision because of the scleral ring of small bone plates around eye sockets. The beak was sharp pointed and the jaws effectively shredded foliage, mashing it for easier digestion. Under a death threat, the dinosaur used a stiff elongated tail for defense. It struck the attacker or tried to gain some time for escape.
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