Compsognathus' name means "elegant jaw" or "dainty jaw" due to the fact that it is such a small Theropod dinosaur and is believed to have fed on small animals such as lizards and insects. The first fossil specimens were discovered in 1850 in Germany, the second was discovered 120 years later in France and has been dated as a species to the Late Jurassic era 150 million years ago by evolutionary models of  history.

   Most media still portray and refer to Compsognathus as a "chicken sized" dinosaur due to the small size of the German specimen, the famous Jurassic Park movies come to mind that portray them as the size of chickens and living and hunting in packs to take down larger prey. This is considered inaccurate by researchers since the German specimen is considered to be a juvenile due to the French specimen being larger, and the fact that there is no evidence of these animals living or hunting in packs. It is now considered that a fully grown Compsognathus is the size of a modern Turkey sans feathers.

   Though not known at the time of it's discovery, Compsognathus is now considered to be the first Theropod dinosaur to be known from a mostly complete skeleton. For a time in it's early paleontological life it was considered by Evolutionists to be the closest relative of Archeopteryx. This is possibly one of the factors that lead some to conclude that Archeopteryx was a hoax. Both ideas have thoroughly been refuted however, and it is now firmly established that the two are not related in any way and that Archeopteryx is a true, perching species of bird and not a hoaxed fossil.

   Since it's discovery more has been learned about Compsognathus. To the best of our knowledge a full grown Compsognathus measure about 1 meter ( 39.3700787 Inches) long and is estimated to have weighed between 2-8 lbs. For many years Compsognathus was trumpeted as the smallest Dinosaur ever, but in the last few decades it has been replaced by at least one species that was smaller. Like other Theropods, Compsognathus or "Compies" for short as made popular by the Jurassic Park movies, had forearms smaller than it's hind legs that worked as hands, although Compies had proportionately much larger forearms than many other Theropods and probably used them for hunting and holding. They likely had good vision as well since they had large orbital socket in proportion to their skull, meaning they would likely have had large eyes.

   Compsognathus' had small but sharp teeth that were probably good for a diet of small vertebrates, but very well could have been omnivorous. It is also well established that Compsognathus ate small lizards as evidenced by fossil stomach contents of lizards.

    Incidentally, animals similar to these have been reported in the southwest United States around the borders of Colorado, Arizona, and Utah and are said to live near small bodies of water such as creeks, streams, rivers, sloughs, ponds and drainage ditches. This would correspond with their believed prey and the belief held by many that humans and dinosaurs have been contemporaries in history and may still be.