The Top 15 Weird Dinosaurs Who Walked the Earth

plastic dinosaur toys with plastic trees on a wooden table

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, among all the weird dinosaurs, who’s the weirdest of them all? The dinosaur with the humpback, the one with the fur, or the one with the buck teeth?

Lots of funny-looking dinosaurs lived during the Age of the Dinosaurs and they’re who we’ll get to discover in this article. These are dinosaurs whose looks will get you giggling or leave you bemused.

We’ll also be sharing a short guide at the bottom to help us understand why these creatures were weird-looking dinosaurs. So, are you ready to have fun? Let’s go!

#1 Amargasaurus: Spiny Strange Dinosaurs

a short long-neck brown dinosaur with red spiny projections

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Did you know the famous Dippy the diplodocus is related to this weird dinosaur? The Amargasaurus and Diplodocus come from the same clade, the Flagellicaudata. They just went down different evolutionary paths that gave them their different looks.

The distinct features of the Amargasaurus are its long spines at the back of its neck and its short height. Just like what you see in this lifelike animatronic Amargasaurus. These proportions made the Amargasaurus one of the Late Jurassic’s fascinating and strange dinosaurs.

#2 Carnotaurus: Unusual Dinosaurs with Extra Short Arms

a large red-brown animatronic dinosaur with horns

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Imagine a T. rex with extra short arms and thick horns on its head. You get this weird dinosaur called the Carnotaurus. But despite its looks, this Late Cretaceous beast is a swift carnivore that ate large sauropods and ran as fast as 48 kilometers per hour.

This realistic animatronic Carnotaurus really brings the point home. Swift, fierce, and unusual. Jurassic World was right to include this weird dinosaur in its cast!

#3 Concavenators: Humped-Back Funny-looking Dinosaurs

a brown dinosaur with a humped back and feathered arms

Source by: Comunicación UNED

These Early Cretaceous reptiles’ name is translated as the “Cuenca hunter with a hump“. They’re weird dinosaurs whose teeth are as sharp as sharks’, had sharp humps on their backs like camels’, and feathers on their arms like birds. Concaventors preyed on crocs, mammals, and small dinosaurs.

#4 Deinocheirus: The Weird Dinosaur of “The Horrible Hand”

a feathered dinosaur with the horrible hand and other dinosaurs

Source by: ABelov2014

The fossil of the horrible hand was once shrouded in mystery for 50 years until the discovery of this weird dinosaur‘s skeleton. And it turns out, the Deinocheirus doesn’t look terrible after all. Just a little unusual.

University of Edinburgh’s Stephen Brusatte says it best in an article by National Geographic about this silly dinosaur:

And they tell us Deinocheirus was much weirder than anyone could have imagined—a colossal, slow-moving, horse-headed, hump-backed dinosaur that looks like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.

And we couldn’t agree more.

#5 Gigantoraptor: Toothless Funny-Looking Dinosaurs

a brown feathered dinosaur with a green beaked head

Source by: Nobu Tamura

These funny-looking dinosaurs were HUGE. Gigantoraptors grew up to 29 feet long and weighed up to 2.7 tons! Despite their towering appearance and large size, they were far from fearsome.

Gigantoraptors’ funny faces like their toothless beaks and chicken-like head made them look comical. Their long claws added to their strangeness too. Imagining what they looked like will leave you scratching your head wondering how they ever survived the age of dinosaurs.

#6 Incisivosaurus: Buck-toothed Funny-Looking Dinosaurs

a brown dinosaur with rabbit-like front teeth

Source by: Nobu Tamura

Can weird dinosaurs get any weirder than this? The Incisivosaurus was a feathered omnivore from the Early Cretaceous period that’s also known as the “Bunnysaurus“. It was named as such because of its prominent front teeth that looked like a rabbit’s.

#7 Kentrosaurus: Spiky Weird Dinosaurs

a brown dinosaur with diamond-shaped plates and spikes on its back

Source by: NobuTamura

Strange dinosaurs are weird but they’re also fascinating! Take a look at the Kentrosaurus that looks like a cross between a Stegosaurus and a porcupine’s spikes.

The Kentrosaurus is actually a relative of North America’s Stegosaurus. Its distinguishing sharp spikes were used to defend itself. The Kentrosaurus may have used swinging motions as fast as 50 km/h with arcs of up to 180 degrees when fighting enemies.

Amazing, isn’t it? With dinosaurs, strange has a purpose.

#8 Linhenykus: The Silly Dinosaur with The Nubby Fingers and Short Arms

a brown feathered dinosaur with short arms

Source by: NobuTamura

We thought the Carnotaurus’ arms were short but this weird dinosaur‘s arms are shorter! Not only that, the Linhenykus‘ 2 out of 3 fingers were so short you can barely see them.

Add the only functional finger’s largeness and you get a strange dino, indeed! The scientists who studied the Linhenykus believe this weird dinosaur used its only moving finger to dig up dirt and feed on ants.

#9 Mamenchisaurus: The Jurassic's Weird-Looking Dinosaurs

a long-neck gray illustrated dinosaur with a short body

Source by: I,Steveoc 86, CC BY-SA 2.5

Can you guess what is the weirdest-looking dinosaur? The Mamenchisaurus is the weirdest-looking one discovered to date. Its very long neck far exceeds its small torso which makes you wonder how it even balanced itself with its unusual look.

But hey, it did! It survived through the Late Jurassic and the Mamenchisaurus even had species that grew up to 115 feet long.

#10 Nigersaurus: The Ugliest Dinosaur

a flat mouthed yellow dinosaur

Source by: Matt Martyniuk

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But if you’d still like to know what is the ugliest dinosaur, the Nigersaurus just might be your answer.

Its straight flat mouth and crowded teeth of over 500 teeth give this seemingly ugly dinosaur its unusual appearance. Here’s a funny quote from Paul Sereno, a paleontologist who also found Nigersaurus bones in one of his digs.

It’s some kind of Darth Vader dinosaur when you look at the skull. You put the skin on it and … most people think it looks like a vacuum.”

Agree?

#11 Nothronychus: Clawed Strange Dinosaurs

a feathered brown dinosaur with sloth-like claws

Source by: Nobu Tamura

Have you ever heard of the strange dinosaurs who owned “slothful claws“? The Nothronychus were those unusual dinosaurs whose hands look like a sloth’s with their sharp claws.

Their unusual appearance is also emphasized by their bulky bodies, long necks and tails, and slender faces. With their mammal-like looks, you wouldn’t even think they were dinosaurs.

#12 Oryctodromeus: The Burrowing Weird Dinosaur

a bulky yellow-brown dinosaur with short arms and a snouty face

Source by: Tim Evanson

Imagine a long tubby snouted dinosaur burrowing the ground with its face and you get the Oryctodromeus. It’s a weird dinosaur that probably used its snouts to dig holes in the ground and was able to run fast away from predators.

The homes it dug back in the Late Cretaceous reached a depth of a foot and a half underground. These weird dinosaurs used their burrows as places to raise their young.

#13 Pachycephalosaurus: Helmet-Headed Unusual Dinosaurs

a baby blue-green dinosaur with a red-orange skull inside an egg

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

Unusual dinosaurs with horns sound acceptable but dinosaurs with helmet-like heads? The Pachycephalosaurus begs to stretch our imagination as they’re weird-looking dinosaurs who don thick dome-like skulls.

But contrary to popular belief that they used these to do butt heads like rams, these funny-looking dinosaurs most likely used their heads for display or to recognize each other.

#14 Pachyrhinosaurus: The Strange Dinosaurs of Alaska

illustration of two brown horned dinosaurs sitting on grass

Source by: James havens

Tropical places and jungle-like environments are the default places we think of when it comes to dinosaurs’ natural habitats. But did you know wintry places like Alaska were home to strange dinosaurs called the Pachyrhinosaurus?

These boss-faced funny-looking dinosaurs survived and thrived in the harsh cold weather though times were warmer then. Maybe the cold never bothered them anyway.

#15 Suzhousaurus: One of Earth's Strangest Dinosaurs

a black and white vulture-looking dinosaur with clawed hands

Source by: FunkMonk

Is it a vulture, an ostrich, or a big rodent? It’s one of the earth’s strangest dinosaurs, the Suzhousaurus. The Suzhousaurus was an Early Cretaceous dinosaur who had a long neck, big sharp claws, wide body, and small head. Robin Lloyd of Live Science shares that these strange dinosaurs used their claws to feed and defend themselves.

Weird Dinosaurs: Creatures Who Were Different in a Good Way

plastic toy dinosaurs lined up on a white background

Source by: Cup of Couple from Pexels

ABC News interviewed paleontologist Kristy Curry Rogers who shared an interesting thought about why some reptiles were funny-looking dinosaurs. She shared,

These dinosaurs are not just icons for extinction, they are really evolutionary successful, innovative creatures

…They do all of these things and they’re wildly successful organisms on the planet from 228 million years ago to 65 million years ago. They’re the kings and queens of the Earth at that time.”

In short, these strange dinosaurs were so because the physical features they had helped them adapt. It helped them survive in the harsh environment they lived in.

The Natural History Museum of Utah shares easy to understand reasons how those  physical adaptations helped them thrive and survive:

  • these helped them look for food
  • used as their defense and ability to escape during dino fights
  • mating
  • adjustment to their present habitat

Cool, right? We see that weird dinosaurs were different because they needed to survive and thrive in life. Having been a weird dinosaur isn’t so bad after all and it all had a purpose. We hope you had fun getting to know dinosaurs better in this article and saw them in a new light.

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