Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Teeny, tiny dino.(SCIENCE).

Holiday 2008

this is sue, originally uploaded by Yolky.

Scientists have big news! They recently announced the discovery of the smallest dinosaur ever found in North America.

The mini dino is called Fruitadens haagarorum (froo-TAH-dehnz HAY-gah-ror-uhm). It weighed fewer than 2 pounds. The tiny creature was about 28 inches long.

A team of scientists found the fossils of four of the little dinosaurs. Fossils are the remains of plants or animals that lived long ago. Experts uncovered the fossils in western Colorado many years ago, They recently studied the animals' remains for the first time.

The fossils are on display in California. They are at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Museum director Luis Chiappe says Fruitadens is not just the smallest dinosaur in North America. "It's one of [the] smallest dinosaurs, period," he says. "[That] tells you ... how dinosaurs range in size."

Before You Read

Ask: What do you know about the size of dinosaurs? How big do you think the smallest dinosaur was?


fossil: the remains of a plant or an animal that lived long ago


What else do scientists know about Fruitadens haagarorum?

The dinosaur raced around what is now North America about 150 million years ago. Experts say the creature was fast, and it probably darted between the legs of larger dinosaurs. Scientists also think Fruitadens most likely ate plants and bugs.

Think Critically

How might scientists know whether fossils belong to the same animal?

Extend the Lesson

Write a Fruitadens fairy tale.

Ask students to imagine what Fruitadens's life was like millions of years ago. Then have each student write a short story about the dinosaur.

Web Resource

To learn more about Fruitadens, visit

Source Citation
"Teeny, tiny dino." WR News, Edition 3 [including Science Spin] 4 Dec. 2009: 2+. Educator's Reference Complete. Web. 23 Dec. 2009. .

Gale Document Number:A213402323

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