15 Dinosaurs Boasting the Funniest Names

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 18th December 2023

15 funny dinosaur names

Naming dinosaurs is serious business. 

It’s a complicated process guided by serious rules and standards. 

In assigning dinosaur names, scientists often go for a descriptive term that fully describes the dinosaur’s appearance. 

Other times, dinosaurs are named based on where they were found or the circumstances of their discovery. 

In an attempt to follow these conventions, scientists sometimes make some interesting name choices that are just plain funny. 

In this article, we’ll list 15 of the funniest dinosaur names. 

This list includes some outrightly hilarious names based on their pronunciation, funny genus names, or popular dinosaur nicknames with fascinating meanings. 

Read on for our round-up of the weirdest, most amusing dinosaur names you’ll ever come across. 

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15. Ubirajara — Lord of the Spear

Ubirajara | Luxquine via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Name Meaning“Lord of the spear “
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height0.5 meters (1.6 feet)
Length1 meter (3.3 feet)
LocationBrazil (South America)

“Lord of the Spear” sounds like the nickname of a comical superhero character with javelin-welding skills. 

But it’s actually the name of a compsognathid theropod dinosaur. 

Ubirajara lived in South America during the Cretaceous Period, and the genus name is from the local Tupi language. 

The name references the pair of spear-like filaments protruding out of the dinosaur’s shoulders. 

The longer filament was about 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long, while the shorter was about 14 centimeters. 

The length of these filaments is remarkable, considering the fact that the dinosaur’s total body length is about one meter (3.3 feet). 

In addition to the spear-like projection on its sides, Ubirajara also had short proto-feathers that formed a mane around the base of its neck. 

These features were likely used for display purposes during mating displays. 

Unfortunately, this dinosaur’s description has not been published officially despite its impressive physical features. 

14. Oviraptor — Egg Thief

Witness the grace and elegance of Oviraptor, a dinosaur with a slender body and distinctive crested head.
Oviraptor | meen_na via iStock
Name Meaning“Egg thief”
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
DietUncertain (omnivorous or herbivorous)
Height1.2 meters (4 feet)
Length1.5–2 meters (5–6.5 feet)
Weight20–30 kilograms (44–66 pounds)
LocationMongolia and China (Asia)

The Oviraptor has one of the most fascinating naming histories of all the dinosaurs. 

When this small feathered dinosaur was discovered in Mongolia in 1923, Henry Fairfield Osborn was convinced of the theropod’s egg-stealing habits. 

The dinosaur’s fossils were found alongside some eggs that were assumed to belong to the protoceratops, a ceratopsian dinosaur. 

However, subsequent discoveries of other closely related dinosaurs now show that the so-called “egg thief” was a caring parent brooding on its eggs. 

It’s one of the most unfortunate cases of mistaken identities, but a permanent one since dinosaur names are difficult to change once assigned. 

Since the egg-eating habit of the Oviraptor has been proven to be inaccurate, different feeding habits have been proposed for this dinosaur. 

It was most likely an omnivore, with a diet that included plant and animal materials. 

13. Psittacosaurus — Parrot Lizard

Psittacosaurus cute jaws
Psittacosaurus cute jaws | CoreyFord via iStock
Name Meaning“Parrot-lizard”
EraMesozoic — Early Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia, Ceratopsia
Height1.2 meters (4 feet)
Length2 meters (6.5 feet)
Weight20 kilograms (44 pounds)
LocationAsia (Mongolia, China), Europe (Russia)

Dinosaurs are often named based on their appearance. 

For the Psittacosaurus, the dinosaur’s remarkable resemblance to modern parrots is the reason for its fascinating name.

Psittacosaurus means parrot lizard, which gives anyone who hears the name a faint idea of what this dinosaur might have looked like. 

It had a short skull with a rounded profile and a prominent parrot-like beak. 

Psittacosaurus isn’t the only dinosaur with a bird-like beak. 

However, this dinosaur’s skull and beak were highly modified compared to other ornithischian dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period. 

The beak has a bony core but was probably covered by a keratin sheath. 

The distinct beak of the Psittacosaurus provided a sharp cutting surface for cropping plants, which formed the bulk of its diet. 

12. Brontosaurus — Thunder Lizard

Brontosaurus | Image via Istock
Name Meaning“Thunder Lizard”
EraMesozoic — Late Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropoda
HeightAround 7–9 meters (23–30 feet) 
Length21–22 meters (69–72 feet)
Weight15–17 metric tons (33,000–34,000 pounds)
LocationUSA (North America)

The sauropods were a group of dinosaurs known for their immense size. 

Some of them were big enough to shake the ground when they walked. 

The Brontosaurus is one of such massive sauropods. 

The dinosaur’s name is from the Greek words “Bronte” meaning “thunder,” and “sauros” meaning “lizard.” 

This name reflects the dinosaur’s immense size and powerful presence. 

The paleontologists who named this dinosaur imagined it would have caused the ground to shake like thunder when it walked — hence the name. 

While that might be an exaggeration, the name surely paints a picture of how big this dinosaur was. 

The name Brontosaurus was rendered invalid for a while when scientists concluded that the dinosaur was too similar to the Apatosaurus to be a unique species. 

However, more recent findings have restored the dinosaur’s identity, and Brontosaurus is now considered valid again. 

11. Monoclonius — Single Sprout 

Monoclonius | Conty via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0
Name Meaning“Single Sprout”
EraMesozoic — Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia, Ceratopsia
Height2.7 meters (9 feet) 
Length5–6.0 meters (16–20 feet) 
Weight2,170 kilograms (4,780 pounds)
LocationUSA (North America)

When you hear it for the first time, “Monoclonius” might sound like the name of a drug or a rare infection instead of a dinosaur’s name.

The name belongs to a horned, frilled dinosaur that lived in North America during the Cretaceous Period. 

Monoclonius means  “single sprout,” referring to how the dinosaur’s tooth grew. 

American paleontologist Edward D. Cope assigned the name to this dinosaur in contrast to the Diclonius, a closely related dinosaur that lived in the same region.

For Diclonius, the dinosaur’s dentition consisted of two sets of teeth (a mature set and a replacement set growing under it). 

But for Monoclonius, the dinosaur only had one set of teeth in use at any given time. 

Monoclonius is similar to other ceratopsian dinosaurs like the Centrosaurus, and some scientists think it is a juvenile form of these dinosaurs. 

10. Bambiraptor — Bambi Thief

A reconstruction of Bambiraptor
A reconstruction of Bambiraptor – PaleoEquii – License
Name Meaning“Bambi Thief”
EraMesozoic — Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
HeightAround 0.4 meters (1.3 feet)
Length1 meter (3.3 feet)
Weight2 kilograms (4.4 pounds)
LocationNorth America (USA)

Dinosaurs have a reputation as ferocious killer monsters, so the idea of such a cold-blooded killer being named after a cute and friendly Disney character sounds hilarious. 

Bambiraptor is a dromaeosaurid dinosaur that was alive during the Late Cretaceous. 

Fossils of the 72-million-year-old dinosaur were discovered in 1995 by a 14-year-old boy while bone-hunting with his parents. 

Due to its small size,  the dinosaur was named after Bambi, a small white-tailed deer from Disney’s 1942 animated film. 

Unlike the real-life Bambi, the Bambiraptor was not a defenseless herbivore. 

Like other dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, this feathered dinosaur was a fierce hunter. 

It had a sickle-clawed second toe, which it used for killing prey and defending itself. 

9. Stygimoloch — Devil From the River of the Underworld

Stygimoloch Dinosaur on white background | Kitti Kahotong via iStock
Name Meaning“Horned demon from the River Styx”
EraMesozoic — Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria,‭ Ornithischia, Pachycephalosauria
Height1 meter (3 feet)
Length2.5–3 meters (8–10 feet)
Weight200–400 kilograms (440–880 pounds)
LocationUSA (North America)

The Stygimoloch’s name is funny, and it also manages to evoke a sense of dread at the same time. 

The dinosaur was named the “horned demon from the River Styx” due to its resemblance to the biblical demon Moloch and because its fossils were found near the River Styx. 

Stygimoloch had boney spikes and knobs growing out of its head. 

Hence, it got a really graphic name to suit its appearance. 

What’s even funnier is the fact that this dinosaur was not a ferocious flesh-eater like the name might suggest. 

Stygimoloch was a herbivorous dinosaur whose horns were only useful in combat against other males. 

Some experts think Stygimoloch is a juvenile version of a similar-looking bony-headed dinosaur known as the Pachycephalosaurus

8. Skorpiovenator — Scorpion Hunter 

Skorpiovenator had very muscular hind legs
Skorpiovenator had very muscular hind legs |
Sergey Krasovskiy via GettyImages
Name Meaning“Scorpion Hunter”
EraMesozoic — Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Length6–6.2 meters (19.7–20.3 feet)
Weight1,000–1,200 kilograms (2,200–2,600 pounds)
LocationSouth America

Contrary to what the name might suggest, the scorpion hunter didn’t eat scorpions for lunch, neither did it have a stinging tail or pincers like a scorpion. 

In fact, the dinosaur’s name had nothing to do with its appearance or how it lived. 

This dinosaur was named Skorpiovenator because there were numerous scorpions at the dig site where it was found in Argentina. 

Skorpiovenator was an abelisaurid dinosaur, a group of flesh-eating theropod dinosaurs that lived from the Jurassic till the Late Cretaceous. 

Skorpiovenator was alive in South America during the late Cretaceous period, about 95 million years ago.

It is one of the best-known abelisaurid dinosaurs due to the reasonably complete nature of its skeleton. 

7. Anatosaurus or Anatotitan —  Duck Lizard/Giant Duck

Anatotitan | Nobu Tamura via Wikipedia CC BY 2.5
Name Meaning“Giant duck”
EraMesozoic — Cretaceous 
ClassificationDinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ornithopoda
Height 2.9 meters (9.5 feet)
Length12–13 meters (39–43 feet)
Weight4.4–5.6 metric tons (9,700–12,346 pounds)
LocationNorth America

The name Anatotitan or Anatosaurus sounds like a badass dinosaur name in the original Greek, but you’ll start to see just how funny it is when you check what it means in English. 

Anatotian means “giant duck,” while Anatosaurus means “duck lizard.” 

Both are colloquial names given to this dinosaur in the past, but it is now officially called Edmontosaurus.

This Cretaceous hadrosaur had a prominent duck-like bill, hence the name. 

It belonged to a family of duck-billed dinosaurs collectively known as the hadrosaurids. 

Anatosaurus is considered the largest member of this family, with a length of about 12 meters (39 feet) and weight of about 5.6 metric tons. 

While the Anatosaurus didn’t quack like a duck, it was a herbivorous dinosaur with a mouth packed with hundreds of teeth for processing terrestrial plants. 

6. Micropachycephalosaurus

Gage Beasley Prehistoric's Micropachycephalosaurus Color Concept
Gage Beasley Prehistoric’s Micropachycephalosaurus Color Concept
Name Meaning“Tiny thick-headed lizard”
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia, Ceratopsia
Height100 centimeters (3.2 feet)
Length1–2 meters (3–6.5 feet)
Weight2.3–4.5 kg (5–10 pounds)
LocationAsia (China)

This dinosaur’s name pops up frequently on any list that has to do with dinosaur names. 

Micropachycephalosaurus is a mouthful, and it is the current record holder for the longest dinosaur name

Interestingly, the bearer of that name is a tiny, unassuming dinosaur that was probably just as big as a dog. 

Micropachycephalosaurus got its funny name because Dong Zhiming, the scientist who named it in 1978, decided to use the most descriptive name possible. 

The name means tiny thick-headed lizard, referencing its small stature and stone-hard cranium. 

Like its other dome-headed relatives (pachycephalosaurs), Micropachycephalosaurus likely engaged in head-butting contests for mating rights. 

Watching these tiny dinosaurs slug it out would have surely been a funny sight. 

5. Colepiocephale — Knucklehead 

Colepiocephale | Cesar Diaz via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Name Meaning“Knucklehead”
EraMesozoic — Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia, Pachycephalosauria
Length1 meter (3.3 feet)
LocationNorth America

When Robert Sullivan renamed Stegoceras lambei as Colepiocephale in 2003, his intention was to describe the hard, dome-shaped skull of the dinosaur as accurately as possible. 

He picked the Greek word “Colepio,” which means knuckle, and combined it with “cephale,” which means “head,” to describe the excess bone on top of the dinosaur’s noggin (which is the common practice with pachycephalosaurid dinosaurs). 

Unfortunately, the two words combined translate as “knucklehead,” which is another way to say “stupid.” 

It’s hard to tell if this hadrosaurid dinosaur was indeed stupid or smart, but being called knucklehead by default already makes it sound like the dinosaur wasn’t the brightest of the bunch. 

4. Irritator 

Irritator challengeri lets out a loud roar while walking along a Cretaceous shoreline
Irritator challengeri lets out a loud roar while walking along a Cretaceous shoreline | Sergey Krasovskiy via GettyImages
Name Meaning“Named in reference to the feeling of irritation”
EraMesozoic — Early Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda
Height3 meters (9 feet)
Length6–8 meters (20–26 feet)
Weight1 ton (2,200 lbs)
LocationSouth America 

Sometimes, scientists take all the time in the world to choose the perfect name for a dinosaur. 

Other times, they’re too irritated to think of a perfect name, so they assign any name that comes to mind based on their feelings at the moment. 

No dinosaur demonstrates this better than the Irritator

The genus name comes from the word “irritation,” reflecting the feelings of paleontologists who found the skull had been heavily damaged and altered by the collectors.

When scientists found fossils of this dinosaur in 1996, it was in terrible condition. 

The skull had been damaged and altered by collectors. 

The initial excitement of naming a new dinosaur turned to instant irritation. 

The dinosaur got the name “irritator” to reflect that feeling. 

Despite the strange name, this Cretaceous Period dinosaur was a regular dinosaur closely related to the Spinosaurus

The Irritator lived in South America between 113 and 110 million years ago. 

3. Elvisaurus — Elvis Lizard 

Elvisaurus 3D render | elenarts108 via iStock
Name Meaning“Elvis lizard”
EraMesozoic — Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height2.3 meters (7.5 feet)
Length6–7 meters (20–23 feet) 
Weight350–465 kilograms (772–1,025 pounds)

Elvisaurus is the unofficial name for Cryolophosaurus, a funny-looking theropod dinosaur that lived in present-day Antarctica during the Cretaceous period. 

Elvisaurus got its hilarious nickname due to the unique crest on its head that bore a remarkable resemblance to the hairstyle of the famous Elvis Presley. 

Although the dinosaur was assigned an official name, scientists couldn’t resist the urge to refer to the pompadour-style crest, which grew from one side of the dinosaur’s head to the other (instead of front to back like other crested dinosaurs).  

Elvisaurus lived in Antarctica back when the continent was still very warm and was the largest dinosaur in Antarctica at the time. 

It is also considered one of the largest theropod dinosaurs of the Early Jurassic period

2. Gasosaurus — Gas Lizard

Gasosaurus | Paleocolour via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Name Meaning“Gas lizard”
EraMesozoic — Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height1.5 meters (4.9 feet)
Length3.5–4 meters (11–13 feet)
Weight150–400 kilograms (330–880 lbs)

Dinosaurs are sometimes named based on the circumstances of their discovery. 

So when a gasoline company discovered dinosaur fossils during one of their exploratory activities in the Sichuan Province of China, paleontologists decided to name the dinosaur in honor of the company. 

Hence the name Gasosaurus (a little on the nose if you ask us)! 

Gasosaurus lived during the Jurassic Period, about 164 million years ago. 

Only one fossil of this dinosaur has been found so far, and it was found in poor condition, meaning there’s a lot we’re yet to learn about this Jurassic meat-eater.

1. Pantydraco

Pantydraco | Nobu Tamura via Wikipedia CC BY 3.0
Name Meaning“Dragon of the Spring Valley”
EraMesozoic — Triassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, ‬Sauropodomorpha
Height0.7–1 meter (2.4–3.3 feet)
Length3 meters (9.9 feet)
Weight50 kilograms (110 pounds)

Pantydraco sounds like a ridiculous name for a dinosaur—why will anyone name a dinosaur after pants anyway?

But this isn’t the case at all. 

In fact, the name Pantydraco has nothing to do with pants!

The dinosaur’s name refers to the quarry site where the fossils were first found in Wales, United Kingdom. 

The name is from the Welsh words for “valley,” which is “pant,” and fountain or spring, which is “ffynnon.” 

Combined, the dinosaur’s name translates as “Dragon of the Spring Valley,” much cooler than you might expect! 


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