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40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Gojirasaurus is a dubious genus of coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic. Photo Credit: YuRi Photolife/Shutterstock

18. Gojirasaurus

Gojirasaurus was discovered in 1981 in the Cooper Canyon Formation in New Mexico. Experts place this dinosaur in the Late Triassic Period, approximately 228 million years ago. Its name translates to “Godzilla lizard.” Gojirasaurus was named after the movie character Godzilla; a giant lizard made famous in Japanese movies.

Gojirasaurus is known for being one of the Triassic Period’s largest meat-eaters. It stretched more than eighteen feet long and weighed up to 440 pounds. Many scientists believe that the Gojirasaurus fossils that have been found actually are immature bones of other species, but this dinosaur deserves its own classification.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Hadrosaurus and Parasaurolophus dinosaur in Dino Park. Photo Credit: Vladimir Bolokh/Shutterstock

19. Hadrosaurus

Getting its name from the Greek words for “large lizard,” Hadrosaurus was present in North America in the Late Cretaceous Period. Hadrosaurus most likely lived here about 80 million years ago. The only Hadrosaurus specimen that has been found in a skeleton and part of a skull uncovered in the Woodbury Formation in New Jersey.

Hadrosaurus was discovered in 1858 and was the first North American dinosaur species identified from more than just teeth. This creature was the first dinosaur to have its skeleton mounted. The Hadrosaurus was a giant dinosaur, weighing more than four tons and being approximately thirty-two feet long. Teeth found by paleontologists indicate that the Hadrosaurus was an herbivore.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Life reconstruction of Hypacrosaurus altispinus. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

20. Hypacrosaurus

Hypacrosaurus’ name in Greek means “near the highest lizard.” It got its name because it was almost as large as the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex. Hypacrosaurus was discovered in 1913 in Alberta, Canada. Paleontologists date Hypacrosaurus 67 million years back to the Late Cretaceous Period.

Until the discovery of eggs, hatchlings, and nests in the 1990s, Hypacrosaurus was known as an obscure genus. This dinosaur has a hollow crested skull and duckbill snout. Neural spines project from its vertebrae and are five to seven times taller than each vertebra. The Hypacrosaurus was roughly thirty feet long and weighed over four tons. Hypacrosaurus walked on two legs and four legs and stuck to a plant-based diet.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Judiceratops tigris is the only known species of the extinct Judiceratops genus of ceratopsid dinosaur. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

21. Judiceratops

This dinosaur roamed North America 78 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Judiceratops fossils were discovered in Montana in 2013. Belonging to the chasmosaurine ceratopsid dinosaur family, Judiceratops is the oldest known species in that family.

Another well-known chasmosaurine dinosaur is the Triceratops which closely resembles the Judiceratops. Judiceratops had a large skull with a parietal bone frill. Two large horns protruded from its head, and one smaller horn sat on its nose like a rhinoceros. Judiceratops walked on all four legs and enjoyed a herbivore diet. Other species the Judiceratops shared an environment with include amphibians and bony fish.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Kayentavenator. Photo Credit: Cool Dino Facts [CC-BY-SA]

22. Kayentavenator

This small dinosaur was discovered in northeastern Arizona’s Kayenta Formation in 2010. Its name translates to “Kayenta hunter.” Kayentavenator was present in North America during the Early Jurassic Period, roughly 145 million years ago.

Kayentavenator dinosaurs were small and only stood about 1.6 feet high. They were carnivores, so they used their small stature to their advantage when hunting prey. The Kayentavenator had long back legs with sharp claws and smaller arms. Paleontologists believe that the Kayentavenator thrived in a river environment with a pleasant seasonal climate. They shared their space with theropods, bony fish, salamanders, frogs, and other reptiles.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Latenivenatrix Dinosaur. Photo Credit: Dinopedia [CC-BY-SA]

23. Latenivenatrix

Latenivenatrix is a member of the troodontid family. Its name means hiding huntress, and although remains were discovered in 1969, Latenivenatrix was given its name in 2017. This dinosaur was found in Alberta, Canada’s Dinosaur Mountain Park.

As a troodontid, the Latenivenatrix is a small, bird-like dinosaur. Its body can reach up to twelve feet in length, and its skull can be eighteen inches long. Out of all the troodontids, Latenivenatrix is by far the largest. Latenivenatrix has small, wing-like arms, but it is unable to fly. It walks on two legs and is somewhat of an omnivore, though it mostly dines on plants.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Lythronax life reconstruction. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

24. Lythronax

Lythronax was discovered in 2009 at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. This theropod lived in North America roughly 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. Its name translates from Greek to mean “gore king.”

Lythronax was built similar to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Its eyes both faced the front, which gave it excellent depth perception. This dinosaur was about twenty-four feet long and weighed up to 5,500 pounds. It had a large skull that was filled with many sharp teeth. The Lythronax’s teeth were serrated and robust, making them ideal for slicing off meat, crushing bone, and causing significant damage. It was excellent at hunting and could cut large chunks of flesh and bone from its prey, then swallow it whole.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Life Restoration of Magnapaulia laticaudus. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

25. Magnapaulia

Discovered in 1981 in Baja California, Magnapaulia gets its name from Latin words meaning “broad tail.” This dinosaur was believed to have lived in the water based on its size and its tail shape. Magnapaulia had a tall and narrow tail that was most likely used to help it swim. Weak hip bones indicate that it would not have been able to support itself on dry land.

The Magnapaulia dinosaur was enormous, reaching up to fifty feet long and weighing over twenty-five tons. Magnapaulia’s back featured a tall crest along its spine that was roughly four times as tall as its vertebrae. This crest allowed Magnapaulia to move well in the water and stay afloat. Magnapaulia was a herbivore and enjoyed dining on plants.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Life Restoration of Marshosaurus Dinosaur. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

26. Marshosaurus

Marshosaurus was discovered in the Morrison Formation of Utah and Colorado in the 1960s. Classified as a theropod, this medium-sized dinosaur lived in North America during the Late Jurassic period. Like several other dinosaurs found in North America, Marshosaurus walked on two legs and had short arms.

Paleontologists estimate that Marshosaurus was roughly fifteen feet long and weighed nearly five hundred pounds. It had a large skull that was more than two feet long. Marshosaurus was a carnivore and excellent at hunting. This dinosaur lived in a wet environment in areas rich in fungi, green algae, ferns, and other vegetation.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Restoration in life of Moros Intrepidus. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

27. Moros

Moros is a part of the Tyrannosaurus family, and it lived in Utah during the Late Cretaceous Period. It was discovered in 2013 but named in 2019 by paleontologists. This dinosaur is known as the oldest Tyrannosaurus found from the Cretaceous period.

The Moros dinosaur’s name comes from the Greek term Moros, which means impending doom, referring to how the Tyrannosaurus family was established in North America. This dinosaur was quite small, reaching a weight of around 172 pounds. They had slender foot bones with sharp claws, making them fast and excellent at hunting. Like other Tyrannosaurus dinosaurs, Moros was a carnivore.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
3D illustration of Dinosaur Nanotyrannus. Photo Credit: Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock

28. Nanotyrannus

Just two specimens of Nanotyrannus have been discovered. Some paleontologists believe that Nanotyrannus is a juvenile species of the Tyrannosaurus rex. Nanotyrannus was found in northwest Montana in 1942. This dinosaur was the last non-avian dinosaur to walk the Earth.

Nanotyrannus differs from the Tyrannosaurus rex in that its arms and hands are larger than the iconic dinosaur. Additionally, its chest bones are built much differently than the T. rex. The Nanotyrannus has more teeth and does not have fused bones like the Tyrannosaurus rex. Compared to other dinosaurs, Nanotyrannus was quite large. It weighed about a ton and was close to twenty feet long.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Nedoceratops roaring while running among onychiopsis trees. Photo Credit: Elenarts/Shutterstock

29. Nedoceratops

The only evidence of Nedoceratops is a single skull uncovered in 1868 in Wyoming. Paleontologists believe that this dinosaur originated in the Late Cretaceous Period. An intense debate has been ongoing about this dinosaur. Many experts consider it is its own species, but others think that Nedoceratops is a growth stage of the Triceratops.

Although Nedoceratops resembles the Triceratops, there are some distinctions. Instead of having a nasal horn, Nedoceratops has a rounded snout. Its skull is larger than that of a Triceratops, but it has a shorter face. Nedoceratops has a frill, but its frill has large holes which some paleontologists think are from being gored by other dinosaurs. Like its relative Triceratops, Nedoceratops are herbivores.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Ornithomimid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Period. Photo Credit: YuRi Photolife/Shutterstock

30. Ornithomimus

Ornithomimus was discovered in the Denver Formation of Colorado in 1890. This theropod roamed North America during the Late Cretaceous Period more than 66 million years ago. The Ornithomimus dinosaur had long legs, long necks, and bird-like arms.

Ornithomimus was covered in feathers and had beaked skulls without any teeth. This dinosaur resembled the modern-day ostrich. Because they didn’t have any teeth, paleontologists believe Ornithomimus ate an omnivorous diet but favored plants. Their long limbs and hollow bones made them fast runners. Ornithomimus’ hands were curved, resembling a sloth’s claws, which made them ideal for hooking onto branches while they fed.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
A brown Pachycephalosaurus in a dense jungle. Photo Credit: Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock

31. Pachycephalosaurus

This dinosaur gets its name from the Greek words for “thick-headed lizard.” Remains of Pachycephalosaurus were found as far back as 1859 in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. The Pachycephalosaurus lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period.

Although only Pachycephalosaurus skulls have been discovered, paleontologists have a rough idea of what the dinosaur looked like. Its most popular feature is the bony dome on its head that could be up to ten inches thick. This feature was ideal for protecting the dinosaur’s small brain. Additional protection was provided by short spikes on the back of the head. Pachycephalosaurus had a small muzzle with tiny teeth, perfect for eating its herbivorous diet.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Pectinodon: “Comb tooth” Late Cretaceous, North America. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

32. Pectinodon

Pectinodon roamed North America more than 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. The only evidence of this dinosaur that paleontologists have discovered is its teeth. The name Pectinodon comes from the Latin words for “comb” and “tooth,” referring to the teeth’s serrated edges.

This biped was believed to have strong hind legs and weaker forearms. Pectinodon was a member of the troodontid family like Latenivenatrix, making it a small, bird-like dinosaur. It was roughly seven feet long and three feet tall. Experts believe this carnivore weighed about 110 pounds. Their teeth resemble those of an iguana, making them ideal for chewing meat.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Rubeosaurus Dinosaur. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

33. Rubeosaurus

Rubeosaurus gets its name from the Greek words “bramble lizard.” This dinosaur was discovered in the upper Two Medicine Formation in Montana. The Rubeosaurus lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period, more than 74 million years ago.

The first Rubeosaurus fossils were found in 1928. This giant dinosaur was nearly twenty feet long and weighed up to six tons. This dinosaur walked on all four legs and ate a plant-based diet. Rubeosaurus resembled the Triceratops in that it had a large skull with a frill and horns. Its snout featured a prominent horn that was several feet long.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
3D illustration of Dinosaur Sauropelta. Photo Credit: Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock

34. Sauropelta

Sauropelta, which means “lizard shield,” is a nodosaurid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous period. This dinosaur lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous Period nearly 110 million years ago. Many Sauropelta fossils have been found in the United States, especially in areas of Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.

Sauropelta is unique because its long tail accounts for roughly half of its body length. It can measure up to around seventeen feet long. The Sauropelta is a heavy creature, weighing more than three thousand pounds. This dinosaur is so massive because of bony armor that covers its body, including large spikes on its neck. Sauropelta thrived in areas that had a warm climate throughout the year and stuck to a herbivorous diet.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
North American Talos sampsoni Dinosaur. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

35. Talos

Also known as Talos sampsoni, this dinosaur is a troodontid that lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period. Talos lived here roughly 76 million years ago. This dinosaur was discovered in Utah in 2008.

Like other troodontids, Talos was small, graceful, and bird-like. They had thin snouts with a large number of teeth. Talos’ feet had sharp claws, and their arms were wing-like. These dinosaurs were roughly six feet long and weighed over eighty pounds. Based on their teeth and sickle-like claws, Talos was a carnivore and a swift killer. Talos lived in wet, humid climates surrounded by rich, diverse fauna.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Life restoration of Tawa hallae. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

36. Tawa

The Tawa was named after the Pueblo sun god and lived in North America during the Late Triassic Period. Fossils were discovered in New Mexico in 2004, but it was formally classified in 2009. The discovery of Tawa supports the theory that the earliest dinosaurs originated in what’s now South America and migrated from there around the world.

The Tawa dinosaur was just over eight feet long and weighed about thirty-three pounds. In comparison with other early dinosaurs, Tawa was much more slender. Tawa thrived in a warm climate with heavy precipitation. Their small stature made them fast and adept at hunting. Tawa had air sacs surrounding their necks and brains, much like modern birds.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Theiophytalia in sleep posture. Photo Credit: YuRi Photolife/Shutterstock

37. Theiophytalia

Roughly 112 million years ago, Theiophytalia lived in North America during the lower Cretaceous period. This dinosaur was discovered in the Morrison Formation of Colorado in 1878. Theiophytalia gets its name from the Greek words for “divine” and “garden.” The park where the only Theiophytalia fossil was found is known as Garden of the Gods.

Theiophytalia is an Iguanodontian dinosaur, one of the first species to be discovered. Because of the various dinosaur species in this clade, Iguanodontia is one of the most known classifications of dinosaurs. This dinosaur has a broad, long snout and a bulbous lower jaw. They walked on their stout back legs and had shorter, thinner arms. Theiophytalia dinosaurs were herbivores.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
3D illustration of Triceratops from the Cretaceous era. Photo Credit: Warpaint/Shutterstock

38. Triceratops

The most well-known dinosaur on this list has to be the Triceratops. This dinosaur lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous Period roughly 68 million years ago. The Triceratops gets its name from the Ancient Greek words for “three-horned face.” Triceratops is unique in that it is one of the last known dinosaur species that are not related to birds.

The first Triceratops fossil was uncovered in Denver, Colorado in 1887. Triceratops is known for the large frill and three horns on the top of its skull. Its stocky four-legged body closely resembles the modern rhinoceros. These large animals could be upwards of thirty feet long and ten feet tall. Triceratops was extremely heavy, weighing between 13,000 and 26,000 pounds. Because their heads were low to the ground, paleontologists believe that these herbivores feasted on low-growing plants.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Zapsalis dinosaur. Photo Credit: Dinosaur Database [CC-BY-SA]

39. Zapsalis

Discovered in the Judith River Formation area of Montana in 1876, Zapsalis was a theropod dinosaur. This species lived in North America approximately 75 million years ago. Evidence of the Zapsalis was found only in teeth fossils.

The name Zapsalis comes from the Greek words for “thorough” and “pair of scissors.” The Zapsalis teeth found in Colorado are classified by vertical grooves, straight rear edges, and a round shape. Based on these teeth, Zapsalis had stout, boxy skulls and heavy legs. These dinosaurs were built for strength more than speed. Their sharp, powerful teeth also indicate that Zapsalis were carnivores.

40 Dinosaurs Discovered in North America
Life restoration of Zuul crurivastator. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

40. Zuul

Zuul, comically referred to as the “Destroyer of Shins,” was found in the Judith River Formation in Montana. Paleontologists uncovered Zuul’s complete skull and tail in 2017, making it the first of its kind to be discovered from these types of remains. The Zuul dinosaur lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous period roughly 75 million years ago. If the name sounds familiar, you’re right! It’s based on the villain Zuul from the movie Ghostbusters because they look similar.

This giant dinosaur was about twenty feet long and weighed more than two tons. Zuul was a fierce fighter based on heavy armor all over its body, including its head and tail. This dinosaur also had horns all along the back of its head to protect its skull. Zuul’s skull was about twenty inches long, making this one big-headed dinosaur. Although its tough exterior makes it ideal for hunting prey, Zuul was a plant-eater.

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