i-How: How big were Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs were the largest animals to ever walk the earth however, dinosaurs came in many shapes and sizes.

The largest dinosaurs were over 100 feet (30 m) long and up to 50 feet (15 m) tall such as Argentinosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Seismosaurus and Supersaurus. Some of the smallest dinosaurs, such as Compsognathus and Microraptor were about the size of a chicken.


Smallest Dinosaur

Small dinosaurs fossils are harder to find and are weathered away easily however, of all the dinosaur fossils found, the smallest are about the size of a chicken. These Dinosaurs include:

  • Compsognathus: Chicken-sized Theropod Dinosaur. Length: 3 feet (1 m). Weigth: about 1.8 – 7.7 lb (0.8 – 3.5 kg).
  • Microrapter: - Four winged Therapod Dinosaur. Length: 2.5 feet (77 cm).
  • Lesothasaurus: Fast running herbivore. Length: 3 feet (1 m).

compsognathus image

Compsognathus image courtesy of science-resources.co.uk

Pronounced: KOMP-SOW-NAY-thus

Name Means: "Pretty Jaw"

Length: 4 feet 6 in (1.4 m)

Height: 1 foot (0.3 m)

Weight: 6 pounds (3 kg)

Diet: Carnivore (Insects, Lizards, Meat)

Time: Late Jurassic

Habitat: Desert Island

Fossils Found: Europe

Compsognathus size comparison image

Compsognathus Size image courtesy of science-resources.co.uk


Tallest Dinosaur

The tallest of all the known Dinosaurs were the Brachiosaurid Sauropods. The Brachiosarids were gigantic herbivorous Dinosuars. Their most stricking feature, other than their shear size, was their long fore legs which were much longer than their hind legs. These sauropods are amongst the largest land animals known to have ever walked the Earth:

  • Brachiosaurus: Length: 85 feet (26 m); Height: 40 feet; Weight: Approx. 30-40 tons.
  • Sauroposeidon: Length: 112 feet (34 m); Height: 56 feet (17 m); Weight: Approx. 50-60 tons.

Brachiosaurus image

Brachiosaurus image courtesy of science-resources.co.uk

Pronounced: BRACK-ee-oh-SAW-rus

Name Means: "Arm Lizard"

Length: 82 feet (25 m)

Height: 40 feet (12 m)

Weight: 60 tons (54,500 kg)

Diet: Herbivore (Plants)

Time: Middle to Late Jurassic - 150 million years ago

Habitat: Open Woodland

Fossils Found: Africa, Southern Europe, Northern, Western North America

Brachiosaurus size comparison image

Brachiosaurus Size image courtesy of science-resources.co.uk


Longest Dinosaur

The longest dinosaurs were the sauropods, in particular the diplodocid sauropods such as Supersaurus and titanosaurid sauropods such as Argentinosaurus. These Dinosaurs had very long necks which were counterbalanced by huge tails. Some of the largest sauropods included:

  • Supersaurus: Length: 108-112 feet (33 - 34 m); Weight: Approx. 35 to 40 tons
  • Argentinosaurus: Length: 115-130 feet (35-40 m); Weight: Approx. 80-100 tons


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