Dinosaurs are known not only to be huge animals, with long necks, huge bodies, and hundreds of teeth, they are also known for some really long names that are difficult to pronounce. There are many dinosaurs with long names but what is the dinosaur with the longest name. We take a look below.
The dinosaur with the longest name is Micropachycephalosaurus and it comprises of 23 letters and 9 syllables. This dinosaur was a smaller relative of pachycephalosaurus. Its name means small thick-headed lizard. It has 4 more letters than the second longest dinosaur name Carcharodontosaurus.
These long dinosaur names are often injected with a little fun, like dracorex hogwartsia, or Stygimoloch which have kinda cool meanings. the dinosaur with the longest name was also named with a sense of irony, it may have the longest name but it was far from the longest dinosaur. It was tiny!
There are a few dinosaurs with long and difficult names, and we have a downloadable facts sheet on how to say some of these longest dinosaur names, and some advice on how to pronounce them as well we will link them here and in the article below.
Where we will look at some of the dinosaurs with the longest names and the dinosaurs with the shortest names
The Dinosaurs with the Longest Names
We already mentioned that micropachycephalosaurus is the longest name dinosaur However there are plenty of others that had very long names as well. Some are easier to say that others, but most have a large mixed up selection of vowels and consonants that make it a bit of a puzzle to say their names, never mind talk about where they lived or what they ate!
In the table below we have the five longest dinosaur names of all the dinosaur’s, though as they discover a new species about once a week its only a matter of time till another dinosaur has the longest name we are sure.
Table 1:The Longest Dinosaur names
|Dinosaur with the longest name||Number of Letters||Syllable Number||Name Meaning||How to Pronounce|
|Micropachycephalosaurus||23||9||“Small thick Headed |
|Mike – Row – Patch – Ee – Seff – ah -loh – Saw – Rus|
|Carcharodontosaurus||19||7||“Shark Tooth |
|Car -Char Row – Dont – Oh – Saw Rus|
|Archaeornithomimus||18||7||“ancient bird |
|Ark – ee -Oh – nith -Ah – my – muss|
|Eustreptospondylus||18||6||“true streptospondylus” streptospondylus means “reversed vertebra”||You – Strep – To – Spond – Ah – luss|
|Pachycephalosaurus||18||7||“Thick headed |
|Patch – Ee – Seff – ah -loh – Saw – Rus|
We have this information in a easier to print and share longest named Dinosaurs infographic which you can access below.
Quick Facts about the Dinsaours with the longest names
1. Micropachycephalosaurus (23 Letters)
The longest name dinosaur was Micropachycephalosaurus and lived in China during the Late Cretaceous period. They were herbivorous and bipedal. This small, bipedal dinosaur is not actually related to the pachycephalosaurus, although it looks a lot like them. Although small it is the dinosaur with the longest name by far!.
Micropachycephalosaurus had a rounded skull and greenish-yellow skin with a white stripe down the center of the body it was actually more closely related to the ceratopsian ( horned and filled dinosaurs like triceratops)
Micropachycephalosaurus was a herbivore. Its row of tiny, sharp teeth allowed it to eat a variety of foods, including leaves, twigs, and even early grasses. Fossil of Micropachycephalosaurus have been discovered in China’s Shandong Province. It is believed that this dinosaur lived about sixty nine million years ago.
The skull of this animal was flat instead of dome-shaped and as its name suggested it was small in size, measuring about 3 ft long (1 meter) and weighing about 8 pounds (-4 kg) So it may be the dinosaur with the longest name, but it wasn’t the longest dinosaur.
2. Carcharodontosaurus (19 Letters)
The second longest name dinosaur the , Carcharodontosaurus, lived 165 million years ago. It had massive jaws and sharp teeth, which enabled it to inflict huge wounds on its prey. It was believed to be a visual hunter, but it probably also used smell to identify prey.
The fossil evidence for the Carcharodontosaurus was limited at first. The fossils of this predatory dinosaur were destroyed during World War II, which left paleontologists to use written descriptions.
Luckily, new fossils were discovered in 1996, which were larger than the original specimen. This second longest name dinosaur is now known as the African Tyrannosaurus Rex. This dinosaur is one of the largest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth!
The brain of Carcharodontosaurus is similar to that of modern birds. it is thought that it was highly active, covering great distances to find meat.
The Carcharodontosaurus was a massive predator that lived during the mid Cretaceous. This predator was close to Giganotosaurus in size, It was estimated to be 44 feet long and weigh up to 7 tons, Its savage jaws, adorned with eight-inch serrated teeth, made it an ideal predator.
3. Archaeornithomimus (18 Letters)
Archaeornithomimus is joint third for the dinosaur with the longest name, it was an ostrich like theropod (walking on two legs) dinosaur that lived in Asia during the Late Cretaceous period. The dinosaurs are named after a small mountain range in Asia, which it once roamed. These dinosaurs are most commonly found in the Iren Dabasu Formation. Although it is not the dinosaur with the longest name, it is joint third with three others!
This small dinosaur lived during the Cretaceous period in China. Its name, Archaeornithomimus, is an ancient word meaning “ancient mimic bird”. The dinosaur was most likely an omnivore, eating both plant parts and other animal meat.
Its size varied from 100 to 200 pounds and reached 3.3 meters. Like other members of its family, gallimimus and struthiomimus it would have been a fast moving running dinosaur that used speed to escape predators.
4. Pachycephalosaurus (18 letters)
A thick-headed lizard in name and description, Pachycephalosaurs lived during the Late Cretaceous Period in North America. Although it shares a lot of its name with the longest dinosaur name – Micropachycephalosaurus it is not thought to be related.
The large domed head were the first fossils of Pachycephalosaurus to be found, and were mistaken for knee caps of larger dinosaurs initially. It is a dinosaur that has its fair share of confusing theories attached to it, .
In addition to adult specimens, scientists also discovered juvenile versions of the species. Dracorex and Stygimoloch these were initially thought to be seperate species until recently. Also despite being classed as a herbivore for many years, Carnivore teeth have now been found in Dracorex fossils, once again throwing what we know about this dinosaur in the air.
In addition, pachycephalosaurs possessed large, dome-shaped skulls. These were believed to have been used as a weapon either for defence against predators of in fights with its own species.
We have whole articles on pachycephalosaurus you can access on the site ( links here) So will let you head there is you want to know more! It smaller unrelated name sake may have the title of dinosaur with the longest name, but 18 letters is still a respectable showing make makes it joint third in the list of longest named dinosaurs.
5. Eustreptospondylus (18 letters)
Eustreptospondylus is a theropod dinosaur that lived in southern England during the late Jurassic period.
The name Eustreptospondylus comes from the Greek word for “true well curved vertebrae.” This dinosaur was discovered before any proper dinosaur classification system was established. Its skeleton was originally thought to be a species of Megalosaurus, the first dinosaur to be named in the scientific literature. However, it was finally classified in a separate genus in the late 19th century.
The fossil of Eustreptospondylus was discovered in 1870 and was initially grouped with several other genera. However, it was later named a separate genus in 1964. The Eustreptospondylus was about six metres long as an adult. It was bipedal and a carnivore, with small forelimbs and powerful hind limbs.
This is also joint 3rd for the dinosaur with the longest name. We put it at the bottom of this list as it has less syllables than all the others.
What is the Dinosaur with the Shortest Name?
At the other end of the scale, and moving away from the longest name dinosaurs, there are a few dinosaurs where they didn’t try to use so many letters and they ended up really short and unlike the longest name dinosaurs much easier to say and pronounce!
We actually have a page with a little more information on the shortest name dinosaurs which you can check out, but we have a little information below to check out as well.
Table 2: The 5 Shortest Dinosaur Names
|Dinosaur with the Shortest name.||Number of Letters||Syllable Number||Name Meaning||How to Pronounce|
|Yi||2||1||“wing” full name yi qi means “strange wing”||yee – chee|
|Mei||3||1||“Sleepy or Sleepy Dragon”||may|
|Moros||5||2||“Harbinger (of doom)”||moh – Ross|
|Minmi||5||2||“Lily”||Min – mee|
There a clear winner here just like with the longest dinosaur name. The shortest name is a dinosaur discovered and named in China. It has only two letters, and even its full scientific name only has 4 letters. It is Yi Qi and it was a winged dinosaur living 160 million years ago. Its name means strange wing.
Quick Facts about the Dinosaurs with the Shortest Names
1. Yi ( 2 Letters)
The name Yi ( full name Yi Qi) is derived from the Mandarin words for wing and strange, and refers to the bizarre wing structure , almost bat like, of Yi qi. It was easily the dinosaur with the shortest name.
the Yi qi was a small dinosaur with a body mass of about 380 g.and a wingspan of about 2 feet. (60 cm)
Like most modern bats, Yi it ate a variety of food, including insects and it has a whole 21 letters less than the longest name dinosaur Micropachycephalosaurus
2. Mei ( 3 Letters)
The Mei dinosaur is a duck-sized troodontid dinosaur that was discovered in 2004. It lived during the Early Cretaceous period. Its binomial name is Mei long. It is the second dinosaur with the shortest name. Only 3 letters.
The Mei dinosaur was found in a bird-like sleeping position, and paleontologists named the animal Mei long. This is a term that literally translates to “soundly sleeping dragon.” The Mei dinosaur was the size of a duck, and died while it was napping. Its forelimb is shaped like a wing and its clawed fingers resemble those of modern birds.
The Mei long skeleton exhibits juvenile-like features, such as unfused nasals, a short snouted skull, and cortical bone density. it was featured on a stamp in rwanda which is where our image above comes from.
3. Khaan ( 5 Letters)
The Khaan Dinosaur is a type of oviraptorid dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period. Its skeletal remains have been found in Mongolia and the Djadochta Formation. Though it was an omnivore and opportunistic meat eater, as it may have also eaten other small dinosaurs and vertebrates.
In our list of dinosaurs with the shortest name it is joint third, again there are many at joint third just like the dinosaur with the longest name lists above.
its remains are similar to those of these other oviraptorids,
The Khaan Dinosaur’s skeletons are almost complete and intertwined. The intertwined skeletons have led to the Khaan being nicknamed Romeo and Juliet.
4. Moros (5 Letters)
The Moros intrepidus Dinosaur fossil was discovered in the USA by accident. This theropod was an early meat eater that was small and had sharp teeth. Although it had two words in its name ( like most dinosaurs, its first name was only five letters.
The Moros intrepidus weighed less than one hundred pounds and stood less than five feet tall. The discovery helped explain how tyrannosaurs evolved into the dinosaurs we see today.
The new species is called Moros intrepidus because it resembled tyrannosaurs that lived in Asia during the early Cretaceous. and the name means harbinger of doom,(quite cool) the doom was the Tyrannosaurs that would descend form it million of years later.
Although much smaller than its descendant, th T-Rex, it still wins for the the carnivorous dinosaur with the shortest name on this list!
5. Minmi (5 letters)
The Minmi was a small herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous Period. It was between two and three meters long, weighing about 300 kilograms. The dinosaur stood one metre high at the shoulder. It was classified within the Ankylosaurid family, but was a primitive a member of that family.
Interestingly, the Minmi dinosaur was characterized by two unusual features. The Minmi holotype had bony projections on its neural spines. It also had ossified tendons and bony scutes embedded into its skin. The Minmi had no armour on its belly, unlike most thyreophorans. These features made it unique, and may have helped protect it from attacks from above.
it also had relatively longer legs to help it scurry and scoot into bushes to get away from larger predators. We actually have it on your list of friendliest dinosaurs ever as well, as it was a kind of small version of Bumpy from Campretaceous.
As mentioned above with 23 letters and 9 syllables the Micropachycephalosaurus is the dinosaur with the longest name. Although small in size it was certainly long in name, and with so many letters, it is likely to hold its place at the top of the longest dinosaur names for a good many years to come.
So if you wanted to name a dinosaur with the longest name you are going to have to beat 23 letters, and of course find a new dinosaur to name in the first place!
The dinosaur with the shortest name is Yi, from China. Which had 2 letters and only one syllable and you can check out our companion article for that here on the site.
So while these are the two longest and shortest dinosaurs names between are over 1000 others to learn all about you can take a look at our Dinosaur A-Z to learn more about these here.
Hi, I am 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