/komp sog"neuh theuhs/, n.
any bipedal carnivorous dinosaur of the genus Compsognathus, of late Jurassic age, having a slender body that reached a length of 30 in. (76 cm).
[ < NL (1859) < Gk kompsó(s) elegant + -gnathos -GNATHOUS]

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▪ dinosaur genus
 very small predaceous dinosaurs (dinosaur) that lived in Europe during the Late Jurassic Period (161 million to 146 million years ago).

      One of the smallest dinosaurs known, Compsognathus grew only about as large as a chicken, but with a length of about 60–90 cm (2–3 feet), including the long tail, and a weight of about 5.5 kg (12 pounds). A swift runner, it was lightly built and had a long neck and tail, strong hind limbs, and very small forelimbs. Of special interest is a tiny skeleton preserved within the rib cage of one Compsognathus fossil. This skeleton was once mistakenly thought to be that of an embryo, but further study has shown it to be a lizard's and thus documents the predatory habits of Compsognathus.

      Recently, a closely related theropod dinosaur was discovered in China dating from the Early Cretaceous Period (146 million to 100 million years ago). This fossil, dubbed Sinosauropteryx, has filamentous structures on the skin similar to the barbs of feathers (feather), which suggests that feathers evolved from a much simpler structure that probably functioned as an insulator. Since this discovery, several such dinosaurs related to other known theropods have also been found in China.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Compsognathus — Skelettrekonstruktion von Compsognathus im North American Museum of Ancient Life Zeitraum Oberjura (unteres Tithonium)[1] 151 bis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Compsognathus — Compsognathus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Compsognathus — Comp*sog na*thus (k[o^]mp*s[o^]g n[.a]*th[u^]s), n. [NL., fr. Gr. kompo s elegant, pretty + gna qos jaw.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of carnivorous Dinosauria found in the Jurassic formation with a slender body, and remarkable for having several birdlike …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Compsognāthus — Compsognāthus, s. Dinosaurier …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Compsognathus —   [griechisch kompsós »geziert, fein« und gnáthos »Kinnbacke«], Dinosauriergattung, Coelurosaurier …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Compsognathus — genus of small dinosaurs, Modern Latin, from Gk. kompsos refined, elegant + gnathos jaw (see GNATHIC (Cf. gnathic)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Compsognathus —   Compsognathus …   Wikipedia Español

  • Compsognathus — Eumetazoa Compsognathus Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 150 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • Compsognathus — Compsognathus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • compsognathus — noun very small bipedal carnivorous dinosaur of the late Jurassic in Bavaria • Hypernyms: ↑theropod, ↑theropod dinosaur, ↑bird footed dinosaur • Member Holonyms: ↑genus Compsognathus …   Useful english dictionary

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