Tiny Dinosaurs

The idea of dwarf dinosaurs on Haţeg Island, Romania, was proposed 100 years ago by the colorful Baron Franz Nopcsa, whose family owned estates in the area. He realized that many of the Haţeg dinosaurs had close relatives in older rocks in England, Germany, and North America, but the Romanian specimens were half the size. Insular dwarfism is the process and condition of the reduction in size of large animals – typically mammals but also dinosaurs – when their population’s gene pool is limited to a very small environment, primarily islands. This natural process is distinct from the intentional creation of dwarf breeds, called dwarfing.

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