Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures. Nearly every child across the globe has grown up learning about them either at school or through books and museums. So you have probably read every other list out there about the biggest or baddest ones; but what I about the weirdest dinosaurs?
That is probably not a word that one would associate with dinosaurs, but just like how animals and plants today can seem weird at first glance (or even long after), dinosaurs too were capable of looking just as odd.
I have compiled below, a list of the weirdest-looking ones I could find. But beware, some of these guys looked like they were assembled by a mad scientist who didn’t know which part to put where or on what species.
Say hello to the “Tsintao lizard”, a hadrosaur (meaning that it is a duck-billed dinosaur). Like others within its family, it too has an odd head ornament – but Tsintaosaurus’ has a forward-facing crest with a forked upper end. It is thus not surprising that it is also called “the Unicorn Dinosaur”.
Pegomastax’s remains were long hidden away in Harvard storage after being discovered in the 1960s. It was only in 2012 that its remains were recognized as being from a never-before-seen species; all because Paul Sereno realized that its remains looked unique. He published a description about them in the 1980’s. Pegomastax was a plant-eater but it has two prominent canines which may have been used for self defense. That’s not all though, it also had porcupine-like quills all over its body and a beak.
Neural spines on a dinosaur are cool right? You are probably thinking of Spinosaurus, but Amargasaurus had them too – all along its neck and back! The tallest spines on the middle of its neck where 60 cm long! While it is not known precisely why they existed, they might have supported a sail, provided self-defense, or regulated body temperature.
This dinosaur’s name means “hump-back hunter from Cuenca,” and it may have had a hump or crest on its back. To be precise Concavenator had two outwardly extended vertebrae. It also had quill knobs on its arms somewhat reminiscent of feathers in birds. These quills may or may not have supported feathers.
Therizinosaurs are probably the weirdest of any other dinosaur species with their long claws, feathers, long necks and pot bellies. Like an amalgamation of a raptor, a sauropod and your retired uncle. The name Falcarius means “sickle bearer” referring to its elongated sloth-like claws. This dinosaur appears to be a link between the theropod dinosaurs and the later Therizinosaurids. It had the typical theropod traits of a long tail, longer lower legs and feet, and a long neck.
Ouranosaurus meaning “brave monitor lizard” also had long neural spines along its back that spanned from its neck to tail end. The longest spines were the tenth, eleventh and twelfth at 63 centimeters – even longer than those of Amargasaurus. Its head was also elongated and flat unlike those of other hadrosaurs, and the tail was relatively short.
Give a big scream for Pinocchio rex – a tyrannosaur with a long snout and long, narrow teeth. So far, only the larger fish-eating dinosaurs like Baryonyx and Spinosaurus had been previously known to have such long snouts.
If there was ever a need of braces for an animal before, the “vicious lizard” could have definitely used some. This ceratosaur has four forward-projecting teeth on the lower jaw which were long, and spoon shaped with hooked edges. The front upper teeth also similarly projected forward. Additionally, instead of an “s”-shaped neck, Masiakasaurus had a horizontally positioned one.
One of the most famed anatomical features of the group Stegosauria was the thagomizer (spikes) at the end of their tail. But another dinosaur also had these spikes. It was appropriately called the “spine-bearing lizard,” and it was a sauropod named Spinophorosaurus.
Do you agree with this list? Do you know any other weird-looking dinosaurs? Leave their names below in the comments!
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