Dinosaur Body Structure: How Did They Stand on Two Feet?

With such a large body, a regular creature would demand more stability. However, with the evolving dinosaurs, the rules changed. These creatures managed to walk around on two feet. It posed a big question; how? The dinosaur body structure owes us some explanation on how this was possible.

The Evolution

With evolution, these creatures adapted methods that enabled them to raise their front two feet and tread with only their hind legs. The ancient and mini proto dinosaurs embraced bipedalism nature. The proto-dinosaurs tails had large, powerful muscles. Such muscles offered enough strength to evolving old dinosaurs. In short, it helped them stabilise on their two hind legs. You can see the same thing in modern lizards that escape the danger by running bipedal.

As time went on, the proto dinosaurs developed their ability to run faster and cover longer miles. The evolving dinosaur’s body structure may have contributed it. However, the elongation of the hind limb served fast running while the mini forelimbs helped minimise the body mass and enhance stability. With time, several proto-dinosaurs became used to the bipedalism walking nature.

The Best Way to Catch Preys

A Brontosaurus in the Forest

Considering that some species were predatory, it is evident that dinosaurs adapted the bipedalism mechanism to catch preys. However, scholars argue that some of the herbivorous dinosaurs needed the forelegs to accelerate their food search.

While bipedalism accelerates the old dinosaurs run faster, it is not the case with the fastest animals like cheetah and horses. Unlike the adaptive dinosaur’s body structure, these animals had short tails. Hence, they won’t be able to balance their body mass.

Other Assumptions on The Dinosaur Body Structure

A proto dinosaur Marasuchus is a squirrel-sized carnivore that is believed to walk on four legs but ran using the two front limbs. These ancient creatures might be walking on four legs, but switched to using only the front limbs. The upright trait was then passed to their newly born species. Well, using front legs was quite helpful to accelerating their escape from their prey.


However, another fact states that herbivorous dinosaurs also had the same ability. They were massive, horned creatures with plates around their heads. Such body structure would undoubtedly make it challenging to keep balance. For herbivores, it was hard to manage stability only with the back limbs. That’s because of the additional weight on their front body parts. Thus, the herbivorous dinosaur’s body structure forced it to revert to moving on four legs.

The Auroraceratops, one of the ancient plant-eating dinosaurs, had a short frill and beak that separate it as a horned dinosaur. It didn’t have the real horns or the extended cranial ornamentation of the triceratops. The Auroraceratops comprised of a curved femur, and limb slender claws. Such a dinosaur body structure could allow it to set its forelimbs.

Once baby dinosaurs were born, they first crawled before adapting to walk on two legs. It suggests that dinosaurs only walked on two when they grew old.

The Role of Gravity

One feature that determines if the animal could walk on two feet is the centre of gravity. It should be above the hind legs rather than forward. When standing, the centre of gravity is in the centre of the back. It means that young ones stood on four legs to stay stable. As they grew older, the gravity position shifted to the back with the tail playing a more significant role. It enabled these creatures to walk bipedal.

Over to You!

Best Dinosaur Costumes

The dinosaur body structure, therefore, contributes massively to how dinosaurs switched their walking mechanisms. How does it feel to walk with huge legs and a substantial, powerful tail? Do you want to experience the fun of walking into a dinosaur or some other custom costume? With the visible legs dinosaur costume, you needn’t tilt your head to the left.

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