Dinosaur Names

By | August 8, 2022

Big size, sharp teeth, and lizard-like body and skin maybe are the common impression people get when they have to describe how a dinosaur looks like. However, there is a different kind of Dinosaur we can find. And, along with the different type and shape of a dinosaur, come many dinosaur names that you may never imagine before.

T-Rex, Velociraptor, Brachiosaurus are popular dinosaur names that many people know. Many movies use those dinosaur types and that’s one of many reasons why those names are widely known, even by those who don’t know that much about the dinosaur. However, if you learn more about the dinosaur, you will find many unique names among them.

This time, we have a list of unique dinosaur names that maybe, you never heard before. These names aren’t unique. But, some of them hold the record as the longest and shortest name that ever gave to a dinosaur. This will be interesting because you won’t find this kind of list on the common dinosaur name list.

Some of these dinosaur names are also easy to remember, especially the shorter name. And, if you can remember the longest one, even spelling it, we give you four thumbs up. Are you ready? Let’s start! Below we have a list of the shortest and longest dinosaur names with pictures. Enjoy and have fun!

The Shortest Dinosaur Names 

Maybe, you will mention T-Rex as the shortest dinosaur names. However, that’s wrong. The real or official name of T-Rex is Tyrannosaurus Rex. So, this dinosaur is not the one that holds the record of having the shortest name. Here are the dinosaurs that have a short name.

1. Yi

yi dinosaur names

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So, you said T-Rex is the shortest dinosaur name? Take a look at this bad guy. This one has only 2 letters. The “Yi” name come from the Chinese language. The meaning of this name is wing and it’s described the part of this dinosaur exceptional shape. As you can see on the illustration image, this dinosaur has bat wings.

The wing isn’t only the unique part of this dinosaur. The wrist area also has unique bony prong that came out and becomes like the extended arm of this dinosaur. This kind of shape or part wasn’t found on any bird or dinosaur type. Moreover, under this extended bone part, the membranous tissue is developed, created a similar shape to bat wings.

This dinosaur lived in the Mesozoic era. The exact size of this dinosaur hasn’t been confirmed yet, because the fossil that was found isn’t complete. According to the part of the lower jaw and skull, this dinosaur is categorized as carnivore dinosaur.

Yi was discovered in the Qinglong County, Hebei Province China. The precise location is in the Tiaojishan Formation area, near the Mutoudeng Village. The founder is Mr. Jianrong Wang, a farmer that lives in that area.

2. Mei

mei dinosaur names

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This is the second shortest dinosaur names you can find. As you might guess, this dinosaur was discovered from the same country as Yi, which is China, precisely it was discovered in Yixian Formation, Lujiatun, Shangyuan, Beipiao City, western Liaoning Province, China. Thus, its name is also coming from the Chinese language.

Mei’s name meaning is soundly sleeping. The name comes from the posture that this dinosaur’s fossil show when it was first excavated. Its hide its head under its wing and fold its legs. This position is similar to the sleeping modern bird. Therefore, the soundly sleeping name was given to this dinosaur.

It lived in the early Cretaceous era. However, the scientists found that, sadly, it can’t survive until the end of this era. The climate change, tectonic change and of course the predator that getting stronger and bigger, pushed this creature into extinction. It sizes that almost similar to a duck won’t be able to survive that harsh condition and competition.

Speaking about the size, Mei is only 0.7 meters long. And, the height from the ground to the hip is only 0.2 meters. Moreover, the weight is approximately only 2 kg. Even though it is classified into an omnivore, which can eat anything to survive, sadly it can’t survive. Okay, let’s stop this sad story and move to the next dinosaur, the Ruler.

3. Khaan

shortest dinosaur names

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Yes, you heard it correctly. This dinosaur’s name consists of only 5 letters. And, if you read it, it only has one syllable. So, where this name come from? Maybe you are familiar with its sound. If you think about Genghis Khan, you are 100% correct. The name comes from the Mongol language. And, its meaning is the ruler or lord.

Even though the name meaning sounds cool, but the dinosaur that has this name doesn’t look like a ruler at all. With 1.8 meters body length, many other ancient predators can easily overcome its strength. Moreover, the body shape is also different than what you imagine. It’s more too bird-like than the lizard-like dinosaur.

Khaan is the member of oviraptororidae, one of the maniraptoran type’s dinosaurs that look like a bird. The illustration and the effort to reconstruct its shape even end up with simple feather which shows the trademark of a bird.

Khaan’s fossil was first discovered in Djadochta, Formation of Ukhaa Tolgod, Ömnögovi, Mongolia. The interesting thing about this discovery was the expedition team found two of the specimen closes each other. Thus, they also give it a “Romeo and Juliet” nickname beside its unique dinosaur names. This dinosaur is an herbivore.

4. Minmi

mini dinosaurs

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Next dinosaur names is Minmi. Previously, Khaan and Minmi are considered to be the shortest name ever given to a dinosaur. But, after Mei and Yi came up, they have to give their position to their younger sister/brother.

What does Minmi name mean? The truth is the name for this dinosaur came from the location name where it was first discovered. It’s not the exact location, though. But, the site is close to a place named Minmi Crossing in Queensland, Australia. Thus, they give it this name to this dinosaur.

Minmi is a small dinosaur. With the body length of two meters and a height of 0.8 meters, we can compare it a small Komodo dragon. Isn’t that big? Yes, it’s true. But, if you see the other dinosaur that lives in the same era as Minmi, which is the Mesozoic era, you will understand why we call it a small dinosaur.

The reconstruction process for this dinosaur body results in a unique-armored dinosaur shape. The skin on its back, tail, neck, and head is covered by a plate-like shape that forms an armor that protects it from attack. The largest plate can be found around the neck, which is the vital part of this dinosaur.

5. Shanag

Shanag mini dinosaur names

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The name is not as short as the dinosaur names we mentioned above. It has 6 letters and this name comes from the Mongol language. The “Shanag” itself means black hat, as referred to the dancer in the Buddhist Cham Dance that wears a black hat. The colorful costume that the dancer wears is similar to the feather of this dinosaur.

This is the common bird type dinosaur. However, this unenlagiine sub species dinosaur is far from normal. We are talking about the location where it was found. Shanag were firstly discovered in Central Mongolia. The exact location is Öösh Formation, Ovorhangai, in the Altai region, in Central Mongolia.

What is so strange about its location? Most of the unenlagiine subspecies or dinosaur that looks like a bird was discovered in the southern continent. When they found Shanag in more northern area than when this subspecies mostly found, that becomes something special. It is theoretically and physically impossible and unreasonable.

When it was discovered, the fossil holds the complete shape of right maxilla and tooth, the part of its jaw. Then, the fossil also has lower jaw bone, the splenial. From this fossil, the scientists get a lot of information about how it lived and its size as well as its shape.

From the location and the soil layer where it was discovered, this dinosaur lived in the Mesozoic era, right in the early Cretaceous time. The size is around 1.5 meters long. The weight is approximately 6 kg. And, from the jaw, the scientist can see that this dinosaur is classified into carnivore dinosaur.

The Longest Dinosaur Names

Those are the dinosaur names with least letter. Now, we’ve finished with the 5 shortest dinosaur names. Let’s move to the dinosaur that uses more letter than usual for its name. But first, let us warn you, that even though their name sounds amazing and cool, some of these dinosaurs aren’t the same as its name. Are you ready?

1. Micropachycephalosaurus

Micropachycephalosaurus shortest dinosaur names

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Can you read it faster? Yes, we already know that when you read this dinosaur’s name, you need to slow it down because there are many letters in its name. More precisely, there are 23 letters in this amazing dinosaur name. Now, you might imagine a gigantic creature ever walking on Earth when you heard that name. Unfortunately, you are wrong.

Micropachycephalosaurus is one of the tiniest dinosaurs. Its size is only 0.6 meters long. Its weight is only 5-10 pounds. As you can see from its size and weight, you can even carry this cute little lizard on one of your hands. And, speaking about its name, its meaning is a tiny thick-headed lizard, matched its size, weight and its body structure.

The thick-headed name comes from the shape of its head. It has a shape like a helmet. However, compared to other pachycephalosaurs type dinosaur, the head doesn’t look like the usual shape of this species. The scientist hasn’t found whether this dinosaur is classified in pachycephalosaurs spiciest or not because of this head shape problem.

There is a theory that the shape of its head isn’t formed perfectly. So, it still can be considered the pachycephalosaurs type. However, there are also other theories that state this one isn’t the dinosaur in that category. It doesn’t matter which one is the correct theory, we have a cute little lizard with the longest name here.

Micropachycephalosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous era. It’s around 80-70 million years ago. Its habitat is in woodlands area in Asia continent. This dinosaur is an herbivore, maybe it was one of the smallest herbivores in that area.

2. Carcharodontosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus the second strongest dinosaurs

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How many letters in this dinosaur’s name? It looks as many as Micropachycephalosaurus, but it 4 fewer letters than the first one. This one only has 19 letters in its name. But, even though it has a shorter name, it is still difficult to spell, isn’t it? Now, let’s move to the name meaning.

In many cases, the dinosaur names come from the local language where it was discovered or the mother language of the person that discovered the fossil. However, Carcharodontosaurus is different.

Carcharodontosaurus was discovered in Bahariya, Egypt. The first discovery reveals the fossil of the partial skull with some of its teeth intact and various bones from its body. Then, later, there is another discovery of the perfect skull of this dinosaur. The name comes from the shape of this skull, especially the teeth that look like a shark’s teeth.

Maybe, you can guess from this point. Carcharodontosaurus mean shark-toothed lizard. The name isn’t in the Egyptian language. But, it comes from the Latin language, which is Carcharodon. This is also the name of shark genera, such as Great White and the Megalodon.

Then, that name was combined with “Saurus” word, which comes from the Greek language, “sauros” or lizard. Thus, the shark-tooth lizard comes as the final name of this dinosaur and makes it as the second-longest dinosaur names with 19 letters in it.

Carcharodontosaurus lived in Mesozoic era, in Late Cretaceous. This dinosaur can be considered to be one of the largest predators in that era. With the body length of 12 meters, the hip height of 4 meters and weight around 6.5 tons, it can easily become the most dangerous predator in the Late Cretaceous era. And, as you can see, this one is a carnivore to the core.

3. Archaeornithomimus

stongest dinosaur names

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Next, we have Archaeornithomimus. The 18 letters name come from the Greek language, which is “arkhaios” or ancient, “Ornith” or bird, and “mimos” or mimic. So, in short, we can call it as the ancient bird mimic.

When it was first discovered in 1923 by Peter Kaisen, it was named Ornithomimus asiaticus. However, the Archaeornithomimus come from the mistake by Dale Russel that thought this dinosaur is the most ancient Ornithomimus species. Thus, the first name given by its founder was changed into Archaeornithomimus.

However, Kaisen seems to misdate his found. Later, it was found that this dinosaur isn’t the oldest among Ornithomimus species. But, the Archaeornithomimus name is still used until today. And, thanks to that mistake, this bird-like dinosaur can enter our list of the dinosaur with the longest name.

Archaeornithomimus live in a Mesozoic era in Late Cretaceous epoch. This bird-like dinosaur has a quite small body compared to other dinosaurs in that era. With only 3.5 meters long body, 1.8 meters height from the ground to its hips, and 80 kg weight, this dinosaur is quite small. And, this dinosaur is an omnivore.

However, the unique bones structure on the middle of three metatarsals, as well as the hips, turns this bird-like dinosaur into one of the fastest runners at that time. The feather on its arms/wings and the long tail with feathers at the end of it seem used for stabilization functionality when it is running.

4. Eustreptospondylus

forth strongest dinosaurs

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This is other dinosaur names with 18 letters in it. The meaning of this dinosaur name is the true Streptospondylus. The history of why it got this name is quite interesting. At first, when it was discovered in early 1870, this theropod is classified into a Megalosaurus group. At that time, almost every carnivore type dinosaur was placed into that group.

However, after the discovery of Streptospondylus in France, the scientist found out the relation between Eustreptospondylus and that discovery. Therefore, the first fossil that was discovered in 1870 was renamed into Eustreptospondylus and it has its classification that different than Megalosaurus.

The Eustreptospondylus naming is also one of the important points of the creation of a new naming system for dinosaur species. Before Eustreptospondylus, the naming system can be said was so messed up. That also made them difficult to classify and categorize.

Eustreptospondylus lived in the Mesozoic era. This dinosaur is one of the predators in Middle Jurassic time. It can indeed survive in that era with its 7 meters body length, 2.1 meters hip height and weight around two tons. As the medium size predator, it preys many kinds of smaller dinosaurs.

The distinguishing part of this big predator is the teeth. The picture may remind you of T-Rex. The large size with sharp and big teeth allows it to catch the prey easily. Moreover, the bipedal posture helps it to run in short distance to catch the smaller prey, which usually moves faster than the bigger dinosaur. So, we can say its body is well-designed for that era.

5. Pachycephalosaurus

Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur

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The last dinosaur in our longest dinosaur names is Pachycephalosaurus. With 18 letters, we put this dinosaur as the last one in our longest dinosaur name list. This one maybe is the most popular dinosaur with the longest name. Maybe, some of you don’t know its name, but familiar with its shape, especially the head shape.

If you watch Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World movie, you must know the famous scene where the hunter gives this dinosaur a Friar Tuck nickname. Yes, this is that dinosaur that rams the hunter car using its thick head. And, its name has meaning with its head shape, which is the thick-headed lizard.

Pachycephalosaurus comes from the Greek language, which is “pakhys” means thick. Then, “kephale” means head. And, as we mentioned once before, the “Saurus” part comes from “sauros” or lizard in Greek.

Why it is named thick-headed lizard? The answer is its head is truly thick. The skull part that it uses to ram is around 10 inches thick. Compared to the adult human skull which only has 6.5-7.1 millimeters skull thickness, you know that this dinosaur is worth unique dinosaur names, isn’t it?

There is another interesting fact. Pachycephalosaurus lived in the same area as T-Rex, which is North America. Therefore, there is a theory that this thickhead is a design that it can use to get free from T-Rex that is going to attack them. They can ram its thick head into T-Rex body and guaranteed it will hurt that big predator a lot give it a chance to escape.

This dinosaur lived in the Mesozoic era at Late Cretaceous epoch. It seems that Pachycephalosaurus is an herbivore, by looking at its mouth that looks more like a beak. However, the scientist found out that this dinosaur is an omnivore.

Pachycephalosaurus body can reach 4.5 meters. Its height reaches 1.8 meters to the highest point of its hip. And the weight is around 450 kg.

Read more: Animal That Start with J

Conclusion

Those are the shortest and longest dinosaur names you can find. Was it difficult to remember them all? With our explanation for each dinosaur type, we believe that you won’t have any difficulty to remember, especially the shortest one.

One more important thing that we can also learn from the dinosaur names is the name describes the dinosaur condition. It highlights some of the important parts of that dinosaur, such as Pachycephalosaurus with its thick skull. Some of them also show the location where it was excavated for the first time.

One thing for sure, it is fun to remember them all, especially with picture and Number of Dinosaur explained here. You can learn more about them, plus these unique name may help you to memorize other dinosaur that is subspecies or in the same species as those.

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