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Ornitholestes was a coelurosaur of the Jurassic period. It was a relatively small predator who probably hunted small lizards and early mammals. It was once believed to have a crest on its nose.

Physical Characteristics[]

Ornitholestes was a bipedal carnivore. Its head was proportionally smaller than that of most other predatory dinosaurs, but the skull was heavily built, with a short snout and robust lower jaw. The orbits (eye sockets) were quite large, measuring over 25 percent of the skull's length. There is no indication of a bony eye ring.

The front teeth of Ornitholestes were somewhat conical, with reduced serrations; the back teeth were recurved and more sharply serrated, similar to those of other theropod dinosaurs. Henry Fairfield Osborn (1903) counted four teeth in the premaxilla, of which the front tooth was the largest in the upper jaw. In contrast, Gregory S. Paul (1988) depicted the skull with only three premaxillary teeth remaining, much smaller than those illustrated by Osborn. Each maxilla (main tooth-bearing bone in the upper jaw) contained ten teeth, and each dentary (tooth-bearing bone in the lower jaw) contained twelve teeth. The tooth rows of Ornitholestes were short, with the dentary (lower) row being even shorter than the maxillary (upper) row, even though the dentary bone itself was exceptionally long at the back, reaching a point below the middle of the eye socket. Teeth did not extend as far back as the orbits, and neither tooth row spanned much more than one-third of the skull.

An area of broken bone near the external nares (nostril) appears to bulge upward, which led Gregory S. Paul to suggest in Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988) that Ornitholestes had a nasal horn "rather like a chicken's comb in looks." Both Oliver W.M. Rauhut (2003) and Kenneth Carpenter et al. (2005a) rejected that interpretation, and indicated that the upward flare of bone was due to post-mortem crushing of the skull.

In Dinosaur Revolution[]

The Watering Hole[]

A noisy Ornitholestes is first decapitated by a female Allosaurus after disturbing her and her youngsters in the very early morning. Another member of the same species played a comic relief role later in the episode, as it ran around chasing a Rhamphorhynchus, even climbing a tree at one point, and constantly failing to achieve its goal. It was last seen still chasing the pterosaur as the watering hole dried up and the rains didn't arrive yet.


  • Ornitholestes lacked feathers, while in reality, it did have feathers like most other small theropod dinosaurs.
  • Ornitholestes teeth were actually covered by lips in life as recent studies confirmed.
  • Ornitholestes was found in the USA and not Europe as the show suggested but teeth assigned to Richardoestesia have been found in the area the show takes place in