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Leaellynasaura
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Family  ???
Genus Leaellynasaura
1st Species Leaellynasaura amicagraphica
Other attributes
Time Range 118-110 mya
Location Australia
Name Meaning Leaellyn's reptile
Physical Dimensions 90 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Herbivore

Leaellynasaura is a dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Australia. It was named in 1989 by Tom Rich and Patricia Vickers-Rich. It was one of the few dinosaurs reported to have lived in the cold climate of the South Pole, and thus may have had adaptations for surviving it.

PhysiologyEdit

Leaellynasaura was an ornithischian with a slender body, long legs, a long tail, semi-short arms, a small beak in front of its mouth, and large, eagle-like brows near the top of its eyes. Most of its body (excluding most of its legs and all of its beak) would have been covered in short, fuzz-like feathers.

DietEdit

Leaellynasaura was an herbivore, feeding on plants low to the ground. Its big beak was used for shredding leaves, while the many cheek teeth in the back of its mouth were used for chewing on plants.

EcologyEdit

So far, all we know about Leaellynasaura is that its long legs allowed it to run at swift speeds, it relied on speed and agility to evade predators, and that, due to experiencing different lighting conditions from most other dinosaurs, it likely could have been either cathemeral or nocturnal.

In popular cultureEdit

Leaellynasaura was featured in the 5th episode of the 1999 documentary Walking with Dinosaurs, where it is portrayed as living in small clans led by a single matriarch; this kind of social organization allows it to make the most out of scarce resources and also establish some lookouts for predators. As well as this, it is shown as being able to hibernate in small clusters during the winter, something that a small, active, warm-blooded dinosaur like Leaellynasaura might not have been able to do in real life.

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