Leaellyn's Lizard

Leaellynasaura was a small plant-eating dinosaur that lived in Australia during the Early Cretaceous. The remains of Leaellynasaura have been found at Dinosaur Cove in the Otway Ranges, and Cape Patterson in the Strzelecki Ranges, both in Victoria. Although the remains are far from complete, we can piece together Leaellynasaura 's appearance from other hypsilophodontids . Its large eyes were shielded with a strut of bone, giving this gentle little dinosaur a fierce look.

In the time of Leaellynasaura , Australia was inside the Antarctic circle. It was very cold, and dark for months on end during the winter. Leaellynasaura may have evolved special adaptations to cope with these harsh conditions. Studies of its braincase show that it was one of the smartest dinosaurs, and that its eyesight was very well developed. Good eyesight would have been very important during the dark and freezing winter months.

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