Luis Chiappe, director of the Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Institute, holds a model of the smallest dinosaur. Chiappe and his team unearthed fossil remains from storage from within the museum that originated from a Colorado excavation in the late 1970s. The Fruitadens haagarorum is North America’s smallest dinosaur. L.A. Times writer John Johnson Jr tells us the house-sized dinosaur was both a plant and meat eater. What it ate is a new discovery also because previously dinosaurs were labeled as either meat eating or plant eating. The tiny 2-pound creature was nimble and fast, probably running away from 2-ton dinosaurs. Its teeth were an unusual combination, including a canine-type tooth at the front of the jaw and leaf-shaped teeth in the cheek area. Visitors to the Dino Lab can view tiny bones of the Fruitadens under the microscope.
Photo is courtesy of Reed Saxon of Associated Press.