Top 10 Fastest Dinosaurs That Ever Lived

Several Iguanodon and Carnivore

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If a young relative, obsessed with the ancient giant lizards, walks up to you and asks ‘What was the fastest dinosaur in the world? What would you say? Chances are Velociraptor, T.rex, and the popular dinosaurs would be your reply.

While they might be one of the fastest and strongest dinosaurs, neither Velociraptor nor the fierce Tyrannosaurus is the fastest. So, what was the fastest dinosaur ever? You will be the judge of that. Here are the top 10 fastest dinosaurs that ever lived.

VELOCIRAPTOR

A Green Velociraptor on the Glass

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Well, maybe you’re not totally wrong. The fierce Velociraptor is, indeed, one of the fastest dinosaurs. The name of this dinosaur, Velociraptor, is derived from the Latin words “Velox” (swift) and “raptor” (robber or plunderer), as an exact description of its agility and carnivorous diet.

This ancient creature is a small- to a medium-sized birdlike dinosaur, and was roughly the size of a small turkey. It is a member of the Dromaeosauridae family and smaller than others in this family of dinosaurs.

Apart from the fact that this creature was one of the fastest dinosaurs ever, moving at a distance of 25 mph (with a 40-mph sprint), there are quite a several distinct features about this ancient lizard. Some believed it to be the most intelligent predator. While you may believe that not to be entirely true, when you consider its size and the use of brian that allowed it to claim and dominate territories, the claim might just be true.

Velociraptor was a fierce predator. It had a bone in its wrists that helped in gliding and, more importantly, hunting for prey such as reptiles, amphibians, insects, small dinosaurs, and mammals.

ALBERTOSAURUS

A ALBERTOSAURUS Walking Beside the Lake

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Albertosaurus, also known as “Alberta lizard”, was a tyrannosaurid theropod that lived in the Cretaceous era in western North America about 65 million years ago.

Alberta Lizard, just like every other member of the tyrannosaurid, was a bipedal predator with fragile two-fingered hands and a large head carrying a dozen of sharp teeth. at the top of the food chain in its local ecosystem. While Albertosaurus was large for a theropod, it was smaller than its larger and more famous relative Tyrannosaurus rex. But that’s not the reason it’s on our list.

This extinct creature, Albertosaurus, may have been able to reach a walking speed of 14–21 km/hour (8.3 mph) earning the right to be on the list of the fastest dinosaurs ever.

At least for the younger individuals, a high running speed is plausible. That’s quite impressive!

CARNOTAURUS

A CARNOTAURUS in the Forest

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Carnotaurus, whose scientific name means meat-eating bull, or if you will Carnivorous bull, was one of the fiercest predatory dinosaurs that roamed the land of South America during the late Cretaceous period, some 71 million years ago.

It was less than eight meters long, or about half the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and had a horn over each eye, to complete a perfect devilish appearance.

Apart from his weird appearance, strong bite, and tailbones that tilted upward and hooked over each other making the tail very strong, this vicious predator, Carnotaurus, also sits comfortably on the list of the fastest dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth.

Carnotaurus had a top speed of up to 48–56 km (30–35 miles per hour). In dinosaurs, the most important locomotor muscle was located in the tail.

COMPSOGNATHUS

A Small Dinosaur in a Glommy Background

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What this dinosaur lost in weight and size, it made up for in speed. With just about 3kg (6.5lb), Compsognathus was the smallest dinosaur, but it could run nearly 40 mph, about 5 mph faster than the computer’s estimate for the fastest living animal on two legs, the ostrich. Yes, you read that right! Compsognathus could run faster than an ostrich. And it could run 100 meters in a little over six seconds, a speed that would leave modern Olympic athletes more than a third of the track behind. Hence, it’s safe to consider Compsognathus the second-fastest bipedal animal in history.

This creature that went extinct about 150 million years ago on European soil belongs to the family Compsognathus, and might not be among the strongest predators. But, of course, it has a spot on our list of the fastest dinosaurs that ever lived.

GALLIMIMUS

GALLIMIMUS in a Glommy Background

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While some dinosaurs needed their speed to capture their prey, some needed their speed to escape predators. Gallimimus, an ornithomimid who would have been a fleet (or cursorial) animal, needed its estimated speed of about 42–56 km/h (29–34 mph) to escape the claws of its hunters.

However, the fastest Gallimimus could exceed 65 miles per hour, rivaling a cheetah, the fastest land animal alive today. Should these estimates prove true, then Gallimimus could possibly be the fastest land animal and the fastest two-legged animal ever. Meaning, even the almighty Tyrannosaurus Rex had no way of catching them in a predatory chase. Sleek!

Gallimimus, also known as “hen imitator”, were ostrich-like, walked on two legs (bipedal), and lived in the Upper Cretaceous about 70 million years ago in what is now Asia.

HYPSILOPHODON

HYPSILOPHODON

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Hypsilophodon had a body length that is almost as long as humans. However, it was a small to a medium-sized herbivorous dinosaur that flourished about 115 million to 110 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Period.

It had short arms with five fingers on each hand and was equipped with much longer four-toed feet weighing about 60 kg (130 pounds).

In its mouth was a set of high grooved, self-sharpening cheek teeth adapted for grinding plant matter. Interestingly, Hypsilophodon reached a speed of about 40 km/hour (25 mph) earning a spot among the fastest dinosaurs in the world. It has traditionally been considered an early member of the group Ornithopoda.

STRUTHIOMIMUS

STRUTHIOMIMUS

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Struthiomimus, meaning “Similar to an ostrich”, was a gregarious herbivore that loved being kept in relatively huge herds with a high population, though they do not lose comfort when kept alone.

They are defenseless against most carnivores and rely on speed to escape their predator. They can coexist with larger herbivores, such as Edmontosaurus and Triceratops.

Struthiomimus is a genus of ornithomimid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of North America. Ornithomimids were long-legged, bipedal, ostrich-like dinosaurs with toothless beaks. When you consider that Struthiomimus could reach an impressive feat of 50 – 80 km/h (49mph), you’d agree it should be among the fastest dinosaurs that ever lived.

ORNITHOMIMUS

Several Ornithomimus

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Ornithomimus, who was a theropod belonging to the ornithomimid family, lived during the Late Cretaceous Period some 70 million years ago, in what is now North America.

Ornithomimus, “Bird Mimic”, which loosely means bird-like feet, has given its name to a whole family of similar dinosaurs; the Ornithomimids including Struthiomimus and Gallimimus, the latter of which Ornithomimus was closely related to. Generally, this group is often referred to as the group of ostrich dinosaurs.

These dinosaurs with large eyes and a small extended toothless beak on a small head with a long neck could cover a distance of 69 km/hr (43 mph) giving them a strong edge over, even, the fastest predators.

DELTADROMEUS

DELTADROMEUS

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The relationship between speed and leg length is a general anatomical rule seen today in many living animals. Cheetahs are faster and have longer legs than lions, which are faster and have proportionally longer legs than hyenas.

Our dinosaur friend, Deltadromeus, if it were still alive today, could have run down such modern animals. Deltadromeus loosely translates to “Delta Runner,” and considering the analysis of its long legs, it does seem it lived up to this title.

Racing across the costliness and floodplains of prehistoric Egypt some 95 million years ago, Deltadromeus was the fastest dinosaur in its ecosystem.  Well, it had to be, because it shared its environment with much larger, but slower, carnivores like the enormous Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus.

PARASAUROLOPHUS

A Brown Parasaurolophus on the Glass

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To round up our shortlist of the fastest dinosaurs that ever lived is the crested ancient lizard, Parasaurolophus. Parasaurolophus lived some 76 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period and its fossils have not only been found in Canada but have also been found in parts of Utah and New Mexico.

The name Parasaurolophus was given because of its prodigious bony crest that exists on top of its head. This bony crest is believed to have grown as long as 6 feet long. The size is calculated to have been about 40 feet long, 8 feet tall at the hips, and weigh about 2 tons. Interestingly, it could move at a speed of 40 KM/hr (25 mph).

One fascinating thing about this extinct creature is that this dinosaur could make a low-frequency sound by pushing air through the crest. Meaning it could be used like a woodwind instrument. In fact, the canals that exist inside of it look very much like a European Crumhorn.

That’s our list of the top 10 fastest dinosaurs ever. The ancient world is blessed with lots of amazing creatures like the dinosaurs, and although these animals have gone extinct, and paleontologists are conducting non-stop research into their world, there are several facts that are yet to be known. 

Related Questions

Why is the Tyrannosaurus Rex one of the fastest Dinosaurs in the world?

A Tyrannosaurus Rex eats the carrion of a dead Triceratops in prehistoric wetlands.

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You’re, probably, wondering why the all-powerful vicious Tyrannosaurus Rex is not on our shortlist. The reason is not far-fetched.

Over the years, Tyrannosaurus has been estimated to have reached up to some 27 miles per hour. Although some believed, due to its huge weight of about 8,000kg, Tyrannosaurus Rex may shatter its bone if it walked more than 12 mph.  

However, a recent study shows that the King of Dinosaurs preferred walking speed was a 3-mph stroll. Just about the speed of an elephant. Hence, Tyrannosaurus Rex may have had all the powers and brutality to be a worthy opponent in a battle, but not one on the track.

That also means you could run faster than a T. Rex. It might just be a run for your dear life and that might not be very funny.

Is the Velociraptor the Fastest Dinosaur?

Contrary to what is portrayed in mainstream media, Velociraptors were much slower. They have been clocked at about 25 mph

Although they might be fast in short bursts (upwards of 40 mph), velociraptors were not the fastest dinosaur.

Can a Human Outrun a Dinosaur?

Roaring T-Rex And Human

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The fastest man in the world clocked the 100-meter sprint in 9.58 seconds. When you consider this in terms of kilometers per hour or miles per hour: that’s about 37.58 or 23.35, respectively. Looking through our shortlist, we can safely conclude that humans can outrun a dinosaur, at least the Tyrannosaurus Rex. But, of course, humans cannot outrun all dinosaurs. Dinosaurs like the Gallimimus, Compsognathus would leave humans three tracks behind.

Were Any Dinosaurs Faster Than a Cheetah?

This might be some sort of a trick question as the fastest land animals are only fast in their sprint and not endurance. With animals like Cheetah, their top bursts can only be maintained for a short period. Cheetah for one would need to lie down and rest after sprinting.

While the ancient creatures, dinosaurs, could maintain their top speeds a lot longer, as they had a special, extra air pocket system that delivered additional oxygen throughout their bodies.

Simple, when it comes to sprints, Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, thanks to their long legs, small sizes, and higher metabolism. But when we talk of endurance, maintaining their speed for a longer duration, Dinosaurs were much ahead of the pack.

Conclusion

A Raptorex is Hunting

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Now, you have the right answer to give your younger relative. Dinosaurs, amongst many other impressive features they are known for, their speed strength is not a very common one.

What’s most interesting is how fast some of the two-legged (bipedal) dinosaurs could run. It’s largely contradictory to today’s mammals where the fastest animals run on four legs instead of two. Well, we can confidently say when it comes to speed in the prehistoric world, having more legs isn’t always better.

Nothing feels better than having a Tyrannosaurus Rex close to you in your home. Okay, not the real one. After all, it went extinct millions of years ago. But you could have the dinosaur puppet of any of your favorite dinosaurs right with you in your home. Ensure you check out our stores and get your favorite dinosaur puppet.

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