What Is The Shortest Dinosaur Name?

Dinosaurs could be huge is size, from carnivores like Tyrannosaurus Rex, to the huge sauropod herbivores like argentinosaurus, and they came with some of the longest names to match their size. However, for every almost impossible to say 7 syllable dinosaur name there were plenty with just one or two syllables much easier to say shorter dinosaur names.

Yi, or Yi Qi, is the shortest dinosaur name. 2 letters long and 1 syllable (4 letters and 2 syllables in its full name) Its name comes from Mandarin and translates as strange wing. Mei, or Mei Long, also discovered in China, is the second shortest dinosaur name with 3 letters and means sleeping dragon.

So if you are struggling to get your mouth around carcharodontosaurus, or Micropachycephalosaurus then we have here the shortest dinosaur names ever to start with here on this page, and then you can work on up to the longest later!

We cover the 5 shortest dinosaur names in the sections below and give a little information about each below, we also have a small section on the longest dinosaur names at the end, and we have a larger more in-depth article on these in the link above.

dinosaur facts for kids

Of course There are plenty of dinosaurs with long and difficult names, and we have a downloadable facts sheet on how to say some of these longest dinosaur names, you will not find any of the shortest dinosaur names on that sheet though, these are much MUCH easier to say!

So lets take a look at the dinosaurs with the Shortest dinosaur names below.

What Is The Dinosaur With The Shortest Name?

At an Almost ridiculous short 2 letters and one syllable the shortest dinosaur name could not easily be much shorter. Even its full name is only 4 letters long

The dinosaur with the shortest name is Yi. Which means wing in Chinese, and its full name, Yi Qi, pronounced chee, is 4 letters long. It means strange wing as it was a dinosaur with both feathers and bat like skin over its wings.

We have more information on this and the other 4 shortest dinosaur names in the table and sections below.

Table 2: The 5 Shortest Dinosaur Names

Shortest Dinosaur Name letter CountSyllable CountDinosaur Name MeaningHow to Pronounce (syllables)
Yi (Qi)21“wing” full name yi qi means “strange wing”yee – chee
Mei (Long)31“Sleepy or Soundly Sleeping Dragon”may
Zby (atlanticus)32Named after Georges Zbyszewski,zz – bee
Maip41the shadow of deathMay – P
Khaan (meckennai) 51“Lord”Carn
Moros (intrepidus) 52“Harbinger (of doom)”moh – Ross
Minmi (paravertebra)52“Lily”Min – mee

While taking just the first name there is an obvious winner for the shortest dinosaur name, It is Yi as it only has two letters, and in fact even if taking its full name it comes at the top of the list of shortest name dinosaurs. followed by 2 three letter dinosaurs mei and the strangely named Zby! (we admit we took a guess at that pronunciation)

6 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.

As we highlighted above even with both its main and scientific name it is still the shortest dinosaur name by far. And unless they start using symbols to name dinosaurs it is likely to remain at the top of shortest name dinosaurs lists for years to come.

yi qi was the shortest dinosaur name
Yi Qi was the shortest dinosaur name

YI Qi Facts and information:

Yi qi was a small dinosaur with a body mass of about 380 g.and a wingspan of about 2 feet. (60 cm) that lived about 159 million years ago during the Mid to late jurassic Period in what is now Hebei in China.

its 2 letter long name, means wing, and its scientific name means Stange. this was because the fossils uncovered were found to have a thing membrane to help Yi fly and glide, it also had a long finger on these wings not seen in other dinosaurs. Its wings were bat like in appearance. These wings suggest it lived in trees and flew between them.

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
Yi (Qi)2 letters2 Feet0.84 lbs. 2014 – Heibei. China159 Million Years ago (mid/late jurassic)

Like most modern bats, Yi Qi ate a variety of food, including insects with its short blunt jaws and it only had a few teeth.

Unusually for fossils there were imprints of the skin found fossilized ( which showed that membrane for flying) that also allowed them to look for melanosomes to see what color this short named dinosaur was. They discovered its body was likely black or dark colored and its head had a more yellow-brown color.

While it has a whole 21 letters less than the longest name dinosaur Micropachycephalosaurus it has only one more letter than the next two shortest dinosaur names.

2. Mei ( 3 Letters)

The Mei dinosaur is another small dinosaur discovered in China, in Yixian, in 2004, it lived during the early Cretaceous around 125 million years ago.

It was a duck-sized troodontid dinosaur and had plenty of teeth and a sickle shaped claws. It was related to Sinovenator and although the fossil discovered was a juvenile, short like its name, it was considered to be a small dinosaur even when it reached adulthood.

mei long - shortest name dinosaur
Mei long – Second shortest dinosaur name.

It is the joint second dinosaur with the shortest name. Only 3 letters long and tied with the unusually named Zby which we look at below.

The Mei Long was named as it was found in a bird-like sleeping position, and its name comes from this. Mei long is a term that literally translates to “soundly sleeping dragon.”

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
Mei (Long)3 letters2 Feet0.64 lbs. 2004 -Yixian, China125 Million Years ago (Early Cretaceous)

As you can see from the image above, it has featured on stamps including the Rwandan example above.

3. Kby ( 3 Letters)

Zby was a sauropod that was described in 2014 and discovered in Portugal. Its unusual name comes from a paleontology professor from portugal, Georges Zbyszewski. It is only known from limited fossils so far.

apatosaurus dinosaur names beginning with a
Zby – Shortest dinosaur names

it was a large dinosaur, in contradiction to its short name, and like other sauropods had a huge body and long neck and tail. it is only know from limited fossils so its size is currently unknown or estimates are not accurate. ( so take the ones below with jurassic sized pinches of salt!)

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
Zby (atlanticus)3 letters59 Feet41,000 lbs2014 -Portugal, europe140 Million Years ago (Mid -Late jurassic)

It lived during the late jurassic period around 140 million years ago and although as a sauropod it would have been both Long and large, its name is one of the shortest of all dinosaur names.

3. Maip ( 4 Letters)

Maip Is a newly Classified dinosaur from 2022. Although it was discovered in 2019. Its full name is Maip Megathroax and it is named after a demon from Aonikenk Mythology. Its name as well as being short is also scary.

While this dinosaurs actual name is only 4 letters long, its meaning is much more complicated and mean the following.:

the shadow of death that kills with cold wind, and its specific name means Long chest.

it was probably the largest Megaraptorid in South America and with its size possibly even the world! it is thought to have grown to about 30-33ft long ( 9-10 metres) and lived about 66 million years ago.

3. Khaan ( 5 Letters)

We have been unable to find a dinosaur name with 4 letters, ( a gap in the market right there!) so the next dinosaur on the list of shortest dinsaour names list in the Khaan. Khaan, was an oviraptorid dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period.

khaan short name dinosaur

Oviraptors, and we have information on these in an article on the oviraptors, were two legged feathered dinosaurs that had a lot of species representing them, though none with such a short name. They were abundant in what is now the gobi desert of mongolia which is where Khaan was found, and in a roundabout way is also where its short name comes from.

It name comes from the Mongolian word for ruler, and famous rulers of this area included genghis and Kublai Khan!

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
5 letters3 feet30 lbs2001- Mongolia, Asia75-71 ,million years ago (Late cretaceous)

it was about 3 feet long and 2 feet tall, and was discovered in 2001 and named by James Clack. he gave it the binominal ( scientific name) Mckennai in honor of the paleontologist Malcolm mckenna. it wold be quite a light dinosaur, like most others of the group and an omnivorous dinosaur eating both plants as well as meat and insects when it could.

In our list of dinosaurs with the shortest name it is joint fourth. There are a few dinosaurs with 5 letters in their names and we included this, Moros and Minmi ( below) as examples of these.


4. Moros (5 Letters)

Moros is a newly, at time of writing, discovered dinosaur that has shot to fame for its appearance in Jurassic World dominion as not only one of the shortest dinsaour names, but also as one of the shortest dinosaurs.

Now while the name its truly one of the shortest of all dinosaurs, the actual dinosaur was much digger than in the Movies. In JWD ( jurassic World Dominion) Moros is shown to be a mouse eating, 1 foot tall dinosaur that is, despite being a carnivore, was very cute.

in reality Moros, or full name Moros intrepidus, was a 5 feet high 9 feet long relative of T-Rex, with longer legs and faster speeds we presume! it is estimated to weigh around 172 pounds ( person sized at 78 kg)

The actual fossil of Moros was discovered by accident in America in 2013 and described in 2019 The Moros intrepidus Dinosaur fossil was discovered in the USA by accident when bones were seen sticking out of a hillside! We have more information on the Moros in the link above.

Moros intrepidus. facts for kids

The discovery helped explain how tyrannosaurs evolved into the dinosaurs we see today and it is considered to be an early ancestor of the more famous ( and considerably larger in size and name) Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
Moros (intrepidus)5 letters9 Feet172 lbs. Utah, USA96 Million Years ago (Mid-early Cretaceous)

Moros means Doom and the full name means harbinger of doom,(ominously). It was named to suggest that it was bringing doom through the evolution of T-Rex 30 million years later!

Its size and name may have been much shorter than Tyrannosaurus Rex, but it is the shortest named carnivorous dinosaur on this list.

5. Minmi (5 letters)

Minmi its short dinosaur name actually coming from where it was found, near the minmi crossing in Queensland, rather than its “mini” size. It was a small ankylosaurus dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous Period in Australia.

It was between two and three meters long about 10 feet long, weighing about 300 kilograms or 660 lbs. The dinosaur stood one metre high at the shoulder. Making it, like its short dinosaur name, short for an ankylosaur.

Shortest dinosaur nameName LengthBody LengthWeightWhere discoveredWhen lived
5 letters10 Feet660 lbs. 1980 -Queensland. Australia133 -120 Million Years ago (early cretaceous)

It was an early ankylosaur and had no huge club on its tail like larger and later members of the family group. and it had an unarmored belly. it also had longer legs to perhaps use speed ( some maybe) to get away from attacks.


Friendliest dinosaurs Minmi

We actually have it on your list of friendliest dinosaurs ever as well, as it was a kind of small version of Bumpy from Camp Cretaceous and Minmi which has been become much more popular since the show was released because of this similarity. (at least till Bumpy got bigger that is !)

The Dinosaurs with the Longest Names

As we mentioned above we have a larger more in-depth article Dinosaurs with the Longest names to compare with the shortest dinosaur names here on the site however we have included the table for that below to give you an idea.

Table 1:The Longest Dinosaur names

Dinosaur with the longest nameNumber of LettersSyllable NumberName MeaningHow to Pronounce
Micropachycephalosaurus239“Small thick Headed
Mike – Row – Patch – Ee – Seff – ah -loh – Saw – Rus
Carcharodontosaurus197“Shark Tooth
Car -Char Row – Dont – Oh – Saw Rus
Archaeornithomimus187“ancient bird
Ark – ee -Oh – nith -Ah – my – muss
Eustreptospondylus186“true streptospondylus” streptospondylus means “reversed vertebra”You – Strep – To – Spond – Ah – luss
Pachycephalosaurus187“Thick headed
Patch – Ee – Seff – ah -loh – Saw – Rus
Longest name dinosaurs

The Longest Name Dinosaur.

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.

longest dinosaur name - micropachycephalosaurus
Editorial credit: YuRi Photolife / Shutterstock.com

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.


So with only two letters Yi is the shortest dinosaur name currently known, followed closely by Mei and the unusually named Kby with three letters. Then we have 3 5 letter dinosaurs in our shortest dinosaur name list, as we currently are unaware of any 4 letter dinosaur names, feel free to let us know if you spot any!

it is unlikely there were be any changes to the shortest dinosaur names list, at least at the top of it as single letters are just not viable, however if more dinosaurs are named using mandarin it may there are at least joint members at the top.

However for the moment Yi, with 21 letters less than the longest dinosaur named Micropachycephalosaurus, is the shortest dinosaur name

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.


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