Ornithopod (Thescelosaurus) Caudal Vertebra with Processes

This is a nicely preserved, caudal (tail) vertebra of the ornithopod Thescelosaurus with intact processes. This vertebra was collected from the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation of Glendive, Montana. There are repaired cracks through each of the processes. The centrum of the vertebra has fractures, however there is no indication of any repairs to it. The rock that this vertebra was found in is still partially attached and has been cut flat at the base, acting as a unique display stand.

Thescelosaurus was a small ornithopod dinosaur that appeared at the very end of the Late Cretaceous period in North America. Many specimens' preservation and completeness indicate that Thescelosaurus may have preferred to live near streams.

This bipedal ornithopod is known from several partial skeletons and skulls, all of which indicate adult lengths between 2.5 and 4.0 meters (8.2 to 13.1 feet) on average. It had sturdy hind limbs, small wide hands, and a head with an elongated pointed snout. Their teeth and jaw morphologies suggest a primarily herbivorous diet.

An artist's reconstruction of Thescelosaurus. Creative Commons License
An artist's reconstruction of Thescelosaurus. Creative Commons License
Glendive, Montana
Hell Creek Formation
5.5" tall including process, entire specimen 6.3" tall
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