If you ask any of your friends to name a dinosaur, you’ll probably hear a “T-Rex” or a “Triceratops”, popularized by books, movies, and other media. However, none of your friends will tell you about a Linhenykus or a Helicoprion (which is technically not even a dinosaur) and if, for example, people saw Jeholopterus in any of the Jurassic Park movies, they’d be scared for their life, so here are some of the weirdest dinosaurs you never knew existed.
1) Incisovisaurus – discovered in China; this 3-foot long fellow is nothing short of weird. I mean, just look at those teeth! It had a face of a raptor, the buckteeth of a rodent, a body of an ostrich and hands and feet of a chicken.
2) Sharovipteryx is so weird looking, it almost seems like an evolutionary mistake. It’s the only known glider species that grew wings on their legs. How did it even walk with those long hind legs?
3) Linhenykus – if it looks like a bird and it walks like a bird, it actually could be this guy. Yes, all birds are technically dinosaurs but this one is special. Best known for his freakishly short arms with only one finger. Why, evolution? What’s the purpose of that stub?
4) Helicoprion was probably the most terrifying sea creature that ever lived. Unlike the modern-day sharks, Helicoprion’s teeth did not fall out but instead the new teeth pushed the old ones, extending the lower jaw forward. Thankfully these beasts died out eventually, but can you imagine the movie Jaws starring this dude?
5) Longisquama was a small lizard-like dinosaur from the Triassic period. Being small at that time meant you were either fast or “invisible”. Longisquama was not particularly fast and with the feather-like projections coming out of its back, he looked more like a walking fruit salad to the predators.
6) Jeholopterus – this little fellow looks like an amalgamation of a bat, a rabbit and a spoonful of night terrors. It used to bite larger dinosaurs with its fangs and drank their blood by squeezing the wound with its plier-like jaws while hanging on to its creepy limbs and surgically sharp, curved claws. A prehistoric dinosaur vampire bat. No thank you.
7) Suzhousaurus was 20 feet long, weighed 500 pounds and lived in the early Cretaceous period. It was a T-Rex’s long lost cousin, despite being an herbivore and looking more like an oversized rat.
8) Yutytyranus was the drag queen of the Tyrannosaurs as it is said to be the most feathered dinosaur ever. Fabulous and deadly.
9) Gigantoraptor – was one of the biggest birds in history, this overgrown chicken covered in (most likely) colorful feathers weighed almost 1.5 tons and was 26 feet long. The paleontologists are still baffled about what this birdie’s diet could have been since it had a small head, no teeth (herbivore) and razor-sharp claws (carnivore).
10) Pegomastax – a tiny 2-foot long herbivore with a parrot shaped beak, a body covered in quills and… canines? Why would a vegan dinosaur need sharp canines? Evolution, man, it can be so messed up.
11) Mamenchisaurus rocked its tiny head on a 30 ft long neck back in the Mesozoic era. A legendary Mamenchisaurus Sino Canad rum found in China was 115 feet long! It is believed that these beasts, or rather their neck fossils, served as an inspiration for the Chinese dragon myths.
12) Kosmoceratops was the most horned animal that’s ever lived. At 15 feet long and weighing 2.5 tons, this cousin to the Triceratops had 15 full-sized horns on its head. You have got to love evolution for its sense of humor!