Science

6 of Nature's smallest dinosaurs

We love to think of dinosaurs as massive animals.

LEONELLO CALVETTI

Sauropod dinosaurs, for instance, could measure more than 100 feet long.

Shutterstock

But some dinosaurs were small, about the size of a large dog or cat, or even a large bird.

Shutterstock

Scientists recently discovered a 237-million-year-old, very small reptile thought to be an ancestor of dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Kongonaphon kely stood barely 4 inches tall.

Frank Ippolito/©AMNH

The 16-inch-long dinosaur Caihong juji lived 161 million years ago and likely sported a colorful crest.

Velizar Simeonovski

Archaeopteryx is known as nature’s first bird, appearing about 150 million years ago. It measured about 1.5 feet long.

Zhao Chuang

Albertavenator curriei lived in what is now Alberta, Canada, 71 million years ago and and probably stood as tall as a young child.

Oliver Demuth

Sinosauropteryx measured 3 feet long and lived about 130 million years ago.

Jakob Vinther

The Microraptor lived about 125 million years ago and barely reached 3 feet long.

Heraldo Mussolini/Stocktrek Images

For more amazing animal stories, click here.

Share