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Hypsilophodontid

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Hypsilophodontids are a group (family) of small Ornithopod Dinosaurs. The group is called after the genus Hypsilophodon. Which dinosaurs belonged to this group has been a subject of debate for a long time. This debate has influence on which dinosaurs appear in the Jurassic Park novels

Paul Sereno published a review article[1] in which he made a classification of all Ornithopod species. For instance, he placed Dryosaurus outside of this family.

Other paleotologists like Jack Horner think that Dryosaurus did belonged to the Hypsilophodontid family.[2][3][4]

More real-life information: Hypsilophodont.

Jurassic Park Franchise Edit

A group called Hypsilophodontids appears in both novels. It is unclear what dinosaur species belonged to this group.

Jurassic Park (novel) Edit

In the chapter Control a list of all dinosaurs in the park appears. One of them is Hypsilophodontids[5] These animals are first seen during the Park Drive in the Hypsilophodon Highlands. There were 34 of them on Isla Nublar at the beginning of the novel, but their numbers were greatly reduced to 14 when the park reached equilibrium. It was probably in the same paddock as the Othnielia, given how much they were alike. It was a small bipedal animal with a herbivorous or possibly omnivorous diet. These dinosaurs are incorrectly depicted as being tree-dwellers (similar to the first restorations of this dinosaur); in real life they were perfectly adapted for fast running in the open. It has not been confirmed that it is even portrayed this way in-canon, but since Tim identifies a green dinosaur in a tree as an Othnielia, and Othnielia are later revealed to be similar in colour to the striped raptors, it can be assumed this was a misidentified Hypsilophodon.

The logic conclusion would be that these animals are Hypsilophodons. The fact that the animal count screen is using the generic term for a specific species is hardly unusual considering its use of "Pterosaurs" instead of "Cearadactylus". However, there are indication that other species than Hypsilophodon belonged to this group.

During the Park Drive this information is given:

Hypsilophodontids are the gazelles of the dinosaur world: small, quick animals that once roamed everywhere in the world, from England to Central Asia to North America.

Hypsilophodons are never found outside Europe.

In the chapter The Park Gerry Harding captures a lose hypsilophodont:

In the harsh quartz lights, the hypsilophodont's green head hung down out of the sling, the tongue dangling, the eyes dull. ... The hypsy was a small dryosaur, seven feet long, weighing about five hundred pounds.[6]

This is the only time that a specific genus of this group is mentioned. This can either mean that Dryosaurus was the only hypsilophodontid dinosaur in the park, or that the group contained also species like Hypsilophodon, Orodromeus and Tenontosaurus.

Sources Edit

  1. Phylogeny of the bird-hipped dinosaurs (Order Ornithischia). Sereno, P. C. 1986. National Geography Research 2:234–256.
  2. JOHN R. HORNER, ARMAND DE RICQLE` S, KEVIN PADIAN, and RODNEY D. SCHEETZ; COMPARATIVE LONG BONE HISTOLOGY AND GROWTH OF THE “HYPSILOPHODONTID” DINOSAURS ORODROMEUS MAKELAI, DRYOSAURUS ALTUS, AND TENONTOSAURUS TILLETTII (ORNITHISCHIA: EUORNITHOPODA); Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3):734–747, September 2009.
  3. Peter M Galton, James A Jensen; Small bones of the hypsilophodontid dinosaur dryosaurus altus from the upper jurassic of colorado; Great Basin Naturalist (1973)Volume: 33, Issue: 2, Pages: 129-132.
  4. J D Shepherd, Peter M Galton, J A Jensen; Additional specimens of the hypsilophodontid dinosaur Dryosaurus altus from the Upper Jurassic of western North America; Brigham Young University Geology Studies (1977)Volume: 24, Issue: 2, Pages: 11-15.
  5. Jurassic Park (novel), Control, page 129 (Novel bundle)
  6. Jurassic Park (novel), The Park, page 245 (Novel bundle).

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