Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 130–125 Ma

4313640916 be8593c9f1 z

Artist's impression of Hypsilophodon.

Scientific classification


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
clade: Ornithopoda
Family: Hypsilophodontidae
Genus: Hypsilophodon

Huxley, 1869

Species: H. Foxii
Binomial name
Hypsilophodon Foxii

Huxley, 1869

Hypsilophodon ( /ˌhɪpsɨˈlɒfɵdɒn/; meaning "Hypsilophus-tooth") is an ornithopod dinosaur genus from the Early Cretaceous period of England.

The first remains of Hypsilophodon were found in 1849 and in 1869 the type species Hypsilophodon foxii was named. Abundant fossil discoveries were made on the Isle of Wight, giving a good impression of the build of the species. It was a smallbipedal animal with an herbivorous or possibly omnivorous diet. Hypsilophodon reached up to 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) in length and weighed about 20 kg (45 lbs). It could run fast. It had a pointed head equipped with a sharp beak to bite off plant material.

Older studies have given rise to number of misconceptions about Hypsilophodon: that it would climb trees, was armoured, reached a length of 2.3 metres (7.5 ft) and was also found outside of Wight. During the past decades new research has gradually shown this to be incorrect.