Odd Names for Dinosaurs I

While all dinosaur names sound hard to pronounce and oddly spelled, there are some that stand out because they are truly eye-catching or unique. In this article, you will encounter the origins or explanations behind the dinosaurs that possess strange monikers.


If you translate the meaning behind the dinosaur name, Colepiocephale, you will learn that the creature’s name is a combination of ‘colepio’ (meaning ‘knuckle’ in Greek) and ‘cephale’ (meaning ‘head’). The dinosaur was essentially called a ‘knucklehead,’ but not because it exhibited any screwball behaviors, but because it was a type of thick-headed lizard (‘pachycephalosaur’) that was born with an excess piece of bone on the top of its flat, sloped skull.

The Colepiocephale lived 75 to 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. It would reach a size of about 3 feet long and weigh around 10 to 15 pounds. The dinosaur was an herbivore and dined on plants. This species of dinosaur is significant in history because it is one of the earliest of its kind to date to be found in North America.


Living 160 million years ago, the Gasosaurus was a dinosaur of the mid- to late Jurassic period. From the sound of its name, it may have given off a gassy stench, but this is not the real story behind its name. The Gasosaurus was actually named by the employees of a Chinese gas company ”“ the people who made the discovery of the fossilized remains of the theropod. The species of dinosaur measured about 13 feet long and could reach a weight of up to 500 pounds. When it was alive, the meat eater had a large head, short arms, large jaws, sharp teeth, powerful legs and a stiff pointed tail that helps keep it balanced. At that time, the fossils found in the Dashanpu quarry in Sichuan (central China) did not produce a complete specimen. The partial skeleton that was created from the remains led paleontologists to believe that this species of dinosaur resembled a smaller Allosaurus. Since only a few fossils exist, some believe that the dinosaur could have been misclassified, but for now, there is a Gasosaurus on record until future finds prove otherwise.


During the late Cretaceous period (about 75 million years ago), there was a deer-sized raptor that fiercely roamed the earth. Measuring about 2 feet long and weighing only 5 pounds, the dinosaur ate a diet of meat. While visiting the Glacier National Park in Montana, a 14-year-old boy happened upon the fossilized remains of a new species. The near-complete skeleton was a special find because the specimen allowed paleontologists to learn a great deal about raptors. By analyzing the bones, scientists can unlock significant details regarding the relationship between dinosaurs and modern birds. Despite the cutesy name (Bambiraptor), the dinosaur was quite vicious in nature.

Although the creature was small for its size, it still had a relatively large brain. It was a bipedal creature that was most likely covered in feathers like modern-day birds.