Fact of the Week: Fun Dinosaur Names

By Quinn Hoop

Capitalisaurus: Although this dinosaur’s presence in the fossil record is extremely sparse (only a few bone fragments were found) and this is not its official name, it does have an official day (January 28th) ordained by the authority of Washington D.C. 

The Irritator: With the official name of Irritator challengeri, only one skull was ever found. The difficulty of figuring out what was up with this confusing cranium was the cause of the name. 

Smilesaurus: Technically a saber-tooth therapsid that lived before any dinosaur (for the nerds out there, a gorgonopsid). The name was due to its dramatically large teeth. 

Dreadnoughtus: This Argentinian chonker was named because it was so large that it would fear nothing. The largest one discovered (estimated at 48 tons) was not fully grown.

Erectopus: One of the first bipedal dinosaurs, and this one actually has multiple bones identified! The name just means “upright foot,” and not anything else questionable that its name may draw images of. 

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