Name: Echinodon ‭(‬hedgehog tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Eh-ky-no-don.
Named By: Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1861.
Synonyms: Echinodon becklesi,‭ ‬Saurechinodon becklesii.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Heterodontosauridae.
Species: E.‭ ‬becklesii‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore/Omnivore.
Size: Roughly about‭ ‬60‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: England‭ ‬-‭ ‬Lulworth Formation,‭ ‬Worbarrow Tout Member.
Time period: Berriasian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains.

       The name Echinodon means‭ ‘‬hedgehog tooth‭’‬,‭ ‬and this is because when Richard Owen first named Echinodon in‭ ‬1861,‭ ‬he thought he was dealing with a lizard that had a similar lifestyle to a hedgehog.‭ ‬Later,‭ ‬Echinodon was often perceived to be a primitive thyreophoran dinosaur‭ (‬popularly known as an armoured dinosaur‭)‬,‭ ‬but today we consider this to be in error since fossil remains of turtle legs and osteoderms were mistakenly included with Echinodon fossils.‭ ‬Towards the end of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century Echinodon has been more‭ ‬commonly interpreted as a heterodontosaur.
       Heterodontosaurs are so named because they typically feature a mixture of different teeth which as a whole do not point to a particular dietary specialisation.‭ ‬This in turn has led to the theory that some heterodontosaurs may have been omnivorous,‭ ‬eating both plants and small animals and/or scavenging carrion.‭ ‬This is mainly down to the large canine teeth in the front of the mouth,‭ ‬of which Echinodon possessed two.‭ ‬These canine teeth would be good for killing small animals,‭ ‬but they could have also been used to dig up parts of plants such as roots that other types of dinosaurs could not get to.‭ ‬As such the exact diet of Echinodon,‭ ‬and by extension other heterodontosaurs remains speculation.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Monograph on the fossil Reptilia of the Wealden and Purbeck formations.‭ ‬Part V.‭ ‬Lacertilia‭ (‬Nuthetes,‭ ‬etc.‭)‬.‭ [‬Purbeck‭]‬.‭ ‬The Palaeontological Society,‭ ‬London‭ ‬1858:31-39.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Richard Owen‭ ‬-‭ ‬1861.


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