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What's the Smallest Dinosaur?

birds, dinosaurs, smallest living dinosaur
(Image: © Dec Hogan | Shutterstock)

The world's most diminutive dinosaur is … a hummingbird!

"Birds are just one lineage of dinosaurs that happened to survive to the present," said Julia Clarke, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

As for the record-holder of the world’s smallest extinct dino, Clarke says there are a few candidates.

In the Gobi Desert, Clarke and teammates discovered a 2-foot-long dinosaur, Mahakala omnogovae. Similarly, a tiny, thick-headed dino called Micropachycephalosaurus was also 2 feet long.

At 15-inches-long and weighing fewer than 6 ounces, the slender runner, Parvicursor, takes the cake as the smallest non-avian, extinct dinosaur.

In Argentina, scientists made a big mistake naming Mussaurus or "mouse lizard," for its small size. Later digs unveiled giant versions of this dinosaur! Scientists soon realized that they had first discovered fossils of a baby Mussaurus, but that the adults could weigh up to 250 pounds.

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