Heterodontosaurus was a small, lightly-built dinosaur with three different kinds of teeth (hence its name) and a beak. The sharp, cutting front, upper teeth were used for biting against the horny beak, the cheek teeth were for grinding food, and it also had two pairs of long, canine-like teeth that fit into sockets. It had five-fingered hands with claws, and three-toed feet with claws. Its back legs were longer than its front legs. It had a long, stiff tail.
Heterodontosaurus was about the size of a turkey, 50 inches long (1.3 m) and 20 inches tall (50 cm). It weighed about 42 pounds (19 kg).
Heterodontosaurus lived in the late Triassic to early Jurassic period, roughly 208 to 200 million years ago. Large predators from that time were: pterosaurs, and crocodilians. Other dinosaurs from South Africa who lived during the lower Jurassic include: Massospondylus, Thecodontosaurus, Lanasaurus, and Lesothosaurus.
Heterodontosaurus was an herbivore (plant-eater). It had three different kinds of teeth. These teeth were specialized for biting, grinding, and tearing its food. They may have stored food in cheek pouches.
Heterodontosaurus was an ornithopod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was midway among the dinosaurs.
Heterodontosaurus was a relatively fast, bipedal (two-legged) dinosaur. It may have run on two legs and walked on four.
A Heterodontosaurus fossil was first found in South Africa. It was named by Alan J. Charig and Alfred W. Crompton in 1962.
Heterodontosaurus was a very early Ornithischian dinosaur, the order of bird-hipped, herbivorous dinosaurs. It was an Ornithopod ( the bird-footed, beaked, bipedal, herbivorous dinosaurs), and belonged to the family Heterodontosauridae. The type species is H. tucki.