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Ornithopods /ɔrˈnɪθɵpɒd/ or members of the clade Ornithopoda /ɔrnɨˈθɒpədə/ (meaning "bird foot", even though birds are only distantly related to this group, since birds are theropods, part of the saurischian group) are a group of ornithischian dinosaurs that started out as small, bipedal running grazers, and grew in size and numbers until they became one of the most successful groups of herbivores in the Cretaceous world, and dominated the North American landscape. Their major evolutionary advantage was the progressive development of a chewing apparatus that became the most sophisticated ever developed by a reptile, rivalling that of modern mammals like the domestic cow. They reached their apex in the duckbills, before they were wiped out by the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event along with all other non-avian dinosaurs. Members are known from all seven continents, though they are generally rare in the Southern Hemisphere.

Large ornithopods from WWD (official images).

In Walking with... series

Walking with Dinosaurs

Time of the Titans

There are several small, unidentified ornithopods running around in the background of this episode. They

Duck bill extinction.png

appear to die in the forest fire that drove the juvenile Diplodocus onto the scrubland plains.

Giant of the Skies

The Iguanodonts, featured in this episode, were Ornithopods. They were prey for the Utahraptors and other carnivores.

Spirits of the Ice Forest

Both Leaellynasaura and Muttaburrasaurus, featured in this episode, were Ornithopods. Muttaburasaurus was a distant relative of the ankyloplexians, while Leaellynosaura may not actually be an ornithopod.

Leaellynasaura-1.jpg

from Time of the Titans.

Death of a Dynasty

The Anatotitans, featured in this episode, were Ornithopods, distant cousins to Muttaburasaurus. This episode also featured several unnamed Ornithopods, possibly Parksosaurus or Thescelosaurus. They all die out when the meteorite struck Earth at the end of the series.

Ballad of Big Al

There are several small Ornithopods, identified as Othnelia and Dryosaurs in this feature. Big Al hunted them, and in the end died when he hit a log and broke his foot during one of those hunts.

Note; Othnelia is similar to Leaellynasaura than to actual ornithopods, and Dryosaurus is considered an iguanadont.

DryosaurusInfobox.jpg


Chased by Dinosaurs

Land of the Giants

This episode featured Macrogryphosaurus, which remained, however, unidentified and based on the Iguanodon model from WWD episode Giant of the Skies.

The Giant Claw

Saurolophus, featured in this episode, was an Ornithopod. It was also a close cousin of the Anatotitans featured in the WWD Death of a Dynasty episode.

Saurolophus head. (The Giant Claw)

Errors

  • We now know that the eyes of smaller ornithopods are pronounced in a way that makes them look angry. This feature is also seen in eagles and angry cartoons.{Citation needed}
  • Leaellynasaura had a tail that was 3/4 of its body length.
  • Macrogryphosaurus looked nothing like Iguanodon.
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