The Dimorphodon is the dinosaur of nightmares, It was a basically a flying tooth filled mouth. It was fortunately not as large as the other flying dinosaurs (pterosaurs) but still enough to even the bravest of us a scare. Fortunately it lived about 180 million years ago so is not likely to be filly the skies anytime soon. There is a lot to learn about this odd looking pterosaur, and we look at some Dimorphodon facts below
Dimorphodon was a pterosaur, not a flying dinosaur, that lived 190 million years ago in the Early Jurassic Period. Its name means “two form tooth” due to two types of teeth in its 9 inch long head. It was able to fly, but poorly compared to both earlier and later pterosaurs due to its relatively short 4.5 ft wingspan.
We have over 20 facts about the flying dimorphodon for you in the article below. We have 10 quick facts right below if you are in a rush, but in the main article we also have dimorphodon facts sheets, coloring pages and more to download and use if you need. It was certainly a strange looking pterosaur, and seeing how strange some of them looked that saying something! So let’s jump into our Dimorphodon facts.
Dimorphodon Quick Facts
- An adult Dimorphodon was 3.3 ft long. It has a wingspan of 4.6 ft
- The approximate weight of Dimorphodon was 2 kg (4lb).)
- Dimorphodon ate meat, but were thought for a long time to eat insects and fish.
- Jurassic world 2015 featured a Dimorphodon. It seems to be much stronger in the movie that for real though.
- Dimorphodon belonged to the early Jurassic period. They became extinct around 190 million years ago.
- Dimorphodon means “two-formed tooth. Dimorphodon possessed this name because he had two types of teeth in its jaws.
- Dimorphodon is trickier than it looks because of the “ph” in the middle of the word. It makes the “ff” sound. It has 4 syllables and is pronounced like this. Die – Morff – Oh – Don
Dimorphodon Facts for Kids
As always we will start with how to say the dinosaurs name! It is important to be able to read it correctly even if you are reading it in your head!
1: How do you pronounce Dimorphodon?
Dimorphodon is trickier than it looks because of the “ph” in the middle of the word. It makes the “ff” sound. It has 4 syllables and is pronounced like this. Die – Morff – Oh – Don
2. How Big was the Dimorphodon?
An adult Dimorphodon was 3.3 ft long ( 1 meter). Which makes it medium sized for a pterosaur (flying dinosaur) It has a wingspan of 4.6 ft.The tail and head made up quite a large portion of that body.
3. How heavy was the Dimorphodon?
The approximate weight of Dimorphodon was 2 kg (4lb). It was small even with that large head, and would not have had a particular strong bite or muscles.
4. How long was the Dimorphodon?
The body length of Dimorphodon was 3.3-3.8 ft. It makes it about 1 metre long, with a 21 cm head possibly filled with 70 + teeth.
5. How big was the Dimorphodon Head?
This extinct dinosaur has a large and heavy skull that was 9.1 inches (23 cm) long. This is very large and very bulky for a dinosaur of this size and huge for a pterosaur! It had parts that were thinner to try to reduce the weight.
It is was to be compared to a animal today it kind of looked like a Puffin. However when it was in the movies they basically gave it a scaled down T-Rex head on wings, and it looked much scarier for it! thats where our image comes from!
6. How Did the Dimorphodon Move?
As we mention below it was capable of powered flight, but its wings were short to mean it could fly like other pterosaurs. It was likely to just use flight to do quick short flights straight up or for short distances.
It was thought that dimorphodon would have spent more time on the ground. For a while it was thought it would run on two legs ( bi-ped) but this has become less popular a view after computer modeling showed it was more likely that dimorphodon got around on 4 legs / limbs (quadruped)
7. What was the Bite Force of an Dimorphodon
The Dimorphodon quickly closed its jaws but it is believed that it had a weak bite force. This means it could catch things easily, but if the prey was too big its teeth would not cause much damage.
This was the main reason it was thought that its diet would have been insects and smaller animals. Things it could catch and control.
8. What Did a Dimorphodon eat?
So for a long time it was thought Dimorphodon ate insects and at times they ate small vertebrates and carrion, and it was also thought of as a piscivore (fish eaters).
The Most recent studies of dimorphodons teeth have shown it to be a carnivore, probably of animals with bones. However that weak bite meant it would have looked for smaller animals not larger.
9. Is dimorphodon a real dinosaur?
Dimorphodon is a real Pterosaur. Pterosaurs, and dimorphodon, are often mistaken for dinosaurs as they look similar and lived at the same time as dinosaurs. however scientifically they are different animals.
even though we call it the “age of the dinosaur” lots of different animals lived at the same time, turtles, reptiles, lizard, crocodiles, fish, sharks, snakes and even mammals!
10. What Movies Have Featured a Dimorphodon?
Jurassic world 2015 featured a Dimorphodon, a few actually. Although the size was not too far off ( unusual for a dinosaur movie!) it seemed to think it could take on a full grown man as prey, which there was no way would have been possible.
11.When Did the Dimorphodon become Extinct?
Dimorphodon belonged to the early Jurassic period. They became extinct around 190 million years ago.
12.What does the name Dimorphodon Mean?
The name Dimorphodon is derived from Greek words ‘di’, (two)’morphe’, (shape) and ‘odon’ which means (tooth). So, Dimorphodon means “two-formed tooth. Dimorphodon possessed this name because he had two types of teeth in its jaws small ones at the back and fang like sharp ones at the front!
13.Was Dimorphodon Warm or Cold Blooded?
It is likely that Dimorphodon were warm blooded, or a form of warm-blooded called mesothermic
14.How many Teeth Did Dimorphodon have
Dimorphodon had four or five fanglike teeth in the front of its upper jaw followed by smaller teeth. In the lower jaw, there were five longer teeth along with thirty-forty sharp pointed teeth. If the number in the upper match the lower it would give Dimorphodon over 70 teeth.
For reptiles to have two different types of teeth in its jaws is very rare, and was what gave dimorphodon its name!
Rare as it maybe for reptiles to have two types of teeth we would have gone with Big head flyer as that head really was big for its size.
15.Where can you find Dimorphodon Fossils? (Where were they discovered)?
The first fossil remains of Dimorphodon were discovered on the coast of Southern England. this area, now a world heritage site, is called the Jurassic Coast and has been the site of many fossil finds.
16.Why is Dimorphodon not a dinosaur?
There are a few features that make a dinosaur, a dinosaur. The main one, though not commonly known, is how their legs feature on their body.
Dinosaurs legs go down from their bodies, other animals like pterosaurs and other reptiles go out from the side. This is the main reason dimorphodon is a pterosaur ( flying reptile) and not a dinosaur.
17. Did Dimorphodon have feathers?
The feathers debate moves backwards and forwards very very frequently with Dinosaur fans. Currently the thought is that Pterosaurs, of which Dimorphodon was one, had coverings possibly like hair filaments, like a bat but thinner. It was a very early Pterosaur and this filament may have “fluffed out” over time.
Dimorphodon and Flying Dinosaur coloring pages
18.Who discovered the Dimorphodon?
Dimorphodon were discovered by Mary Anning in England in 1828. She was a Fossil Hunter and trader but at the time (she was a woman) did not get the recognition she deserved. She was also one of the people responsible for discovered some rocks were in fact dinosaur poo! this fact alone get mountains of our respect!
19.Who named the Dimorphodon?
In 1859, the Dimorphodon were named by paleontologist Richard Owen. It is not a common fossil to find and this si why our knowledge of dimorphodon remains a little light.
20. Did Dimorphodon have a small brain.
The fossils found have shown that like a lot of early dinosaurs, pterosaurs and any other type of “saurs” they were not the brightest of the bunch. The Dimorphodon had a very small place where its brain would go. Called a Brain pan.
21. Was the Dimorphodon good at flying.
Its wings were shorter than a lot of other pterosaurs both that lived at a similar time and that lived after it. It is though this wingspan would not have made it a great flyer. As its body, and more importantly its bones were quite bulky it is unlikely it was soaring through the air like an eagle. It was likely to fly more like a chicken, messy short flights more probably used to get away from something bigger trying to eat it than swoop down and grab prey.
It was thought it probably spent more time on the floor than in the air, or in trees as it would have been pretty good at climbing.
22. Where did Dimorphodon Live?
Dimorphodon lived in what is now Europe. Though it looked very different then of course. They have also been found in what is now Mexico, thought was a different
With its huge head, and fang like teeth Dimorphodon was certainly a scary looking dinosaur. ( well pterosaur) and adding to that its ability to fly and it is the stuff of nightmares! However, learning that although its bite was fast, it was not powerful and that flying ability is thought to be pretty poor.
So while it looked the part, it wasn’t as scary or dangerous a dinosaur as other pterosaurs we cover on this site like the Quetzalcoatlus for example. Still it was a very early example of the pterosaurs than lived on Earth and the story of is discovery is certainly worth learning.
Don’t forget to look over the rest of our dinosaur facts pages, our coloring and facts sheets are also free to download. There are answers to common dinosaur questions, and loads of other cool dinosaur activities and resources to look at.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.