Burrowing Dinosaurs

Article | Updated 10 years ago

In 2007, scientists found the first evidence of a burrowing dinosaur.

They found the bones of an adult and two juveniles called Oryctodromeus cubicularis, a small ornithopod dinosaur. These bones were in the chamber of a filled burrow, preserved in 95-million-year-old rocks in Montana, USA. Several features of the adult skeleton are consistent with habitual burrowing.

Australian burrowing dinosaurs

Similar burrows attributed to digging activities by small ornithopod dinosaurs, such as Leaellynasaura, have been found in 110-million-year-old rocks in Victoria. This area was dominated by small ornithopod dinosaurs which is quite unusual. It has been suggested that some, if not most, of these made dens for shelter during the cold winter months.

Korean burrowing dinosaurs

Koreanosaurus boseongensis, described from 85 million-year-old fossils found in South Korea, was a small ornithopod with a skeleton highly adapted to digging. The arms and shoulder bones are extremely robust with huge attachment surfaces for muscles used in digging. The hind legs were rather short and sprawling, features also seen in modern mammals adapted to digging.

Oryctodromeus burrow

Oryctodromeus burrow