Fruitadens

Name: Fruitadens (Fruita tooth).
Phonetic: Froo-tah-denz.
Named By: Richard Butler et al - 2010.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Heterodontosauridae.
Species: F. haagarorum (type).
Type: Omnivore.
Size: 65-75 centimetres long.
Known locations: USA, Morrison Formation, Coloradao, Fruita.
Time period: Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several individuals of partial skeletons.

       With a weight estimate of 0.5-0.75 kilos, Fruitadens is by far one of the smallest known dinosaurs. Recovered specimens are thought to represent juveniles and sub adults that are almost fully grown. In appearance Fruitadens is considered to have been similar to Heterodontosaurus, although it may have been closer to Echinodon and Tianyulong in size, and is also nearer to them than it is to Heterodontosaurus in the fossil record.
       The lightweight build of Fruitadens means that it would have been a very agile runner, easily able to navigate the forest floor while maintaining running speed. The teeth and close association with other heterodontosaurids has brought the suggestion that Fruitadens was an omnivore.

Further reading
- A new Upper Jurassic heterodontosaurid from North America: lower limits of ornithischian dinosaur body size inferred from North America. - Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277:375-381. - R. J. Butler, P. M. Galton, L. B. Porro, L. M. Chiappe, D. M. Henderson & G. M. Erickson - 2010.
- Anatomy and Cranial Functional Morphology of the Small-Bodied Dinosaur Fruitadens haagarorum from the Upper Jurassic of the USA. - PLoS ONE 7 (4): e31556. - R. J. Butler, L. B. Porro, P. M. Galton & L. M. Chiappe (A. A. Farke, ed)- 2012.



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