Bird-hipped dinosaurs derive their name from the shape of their pelvis, which resembles that of modern birds, whose pubis points to the rear of the animal. Unexpectedly, birds did not evolve from these dinosaurs, but from the lizard-hipped dinosaurs, since this shape of pelvis has evolved more than once. Another distinguishing characteristic of the bird-hipped dinosaurs was a horny beak, which they used to crop plants, much like a horse or deer uses its front teeth today. Duck-billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs and armoured dinosaurs were all of the bird-hipped variety.
Scientific name: Ornithischia
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
Ornithischia (/ɔrnɨˈθɪskiə/ or-ni-THISS-kee-ə) or Predentata is an extinct order of beaked, herbivorous dinosaurs. The name ornithischia is derived from the Greek ornitheos (ορνιθειος) meaning 'of a bird' and ischion (ισχιον) meaning 'hip joint'. They are known as the 'bird-hipped' dinosaurs because of their bird-like hip structure, even though birds actually belong to the 'lizard-hipped' dinosaurs (the saurischians). Being herbivores that sometimes lived in herds, they were more numerous than the saurischians. Many were prey animals for the theropods and were usually smaller than the sauropods.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.