Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Suborder Ornithopoda
Family  ???
Genus Tenontosaurus
1st Species Tenontosaurus tilletti
2nd Species Tenontosaurus dossi
Other attributes
Time Range 115-108 mya
Location United States of America
Name Meaning Sinew lizard
Physical Dimensions 7.7 meters long for T.tilletti
Weight 1 tonne for T.tilletti
Dietary Classification Herbivore
Tenontosaurus is an ornithopod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the United States of America. It was named in 1970 by John Ostrom. It was one of the most common ornithopods during the Early Cretaceous, as well as one of the most adaptable.


Tenontosaurus was a bipedal ornithopod with a semi-bulky body, long forelimbs, long, muscular hindlimbs, an extremely long, broad tail, and a large head with a small beak in front of its mouth. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.


Tenontosaurus was an herbivore, feeding mainly on leaves and ferns, but also snacking on wood and fruits from time to time. Its round beak was used to strip leaves off branches, while the many teeth in the back of its mouth would grind together, processing the leaves.


Like most other large ornithopods, Tenontosaurus was a low-level browser, only being able to access vegetation 3 meters off the ground by rearing; however, due to its powerful, U-shaped beak and the sharp teeth at the back of its mouth, it was not limited to eating soft vegetation, and could likely eat fruits hanging from trees and even the wood covering their stems. As Tenontosaurus was a heavily-built, bipedal ornithischian with a massive tail, it likely would have not been a very fast or agile runner; despite this, it could likely use its powerful legs to achieve short bursts of speed in order to escape from predators. As time passed on, Tenontosaurus' habitat would transform from arid scrubland to tropical marsh. However, this change in climate would see an increase in Tenontosaurus populations rather than a decrease, showing that it was a very adaptable animal; why it managed to survive these changes to its environment is a mystery.

In popular cultureEdit

Due to many portrayals showcasing it being attacked by Deinonychus, Tenontosaurus has seen a small boost in popularity. Nowadays, it is often featured in smaller pieces of media (usually documentaries) like Monsters Resurrected, where it continues to be a prey item for not only Deinonychus, but also for the large theropod Acrocanthosaurus.

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