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Ornithopoda means "bird feet"; this refers to their characteristic three-toed feet, although many early forms retained four toes. They were also characterized by having no armour. Ornithopods started out as small, bipedal running grazers, and grew in size and numbers until they became one of the most successful groups of herbivores in the Cretaceous world, and dominated the North American landscape. Their major evolutionary advantage was the progressive development of a chewing apparatus that became the most sophisticated ever developed by a reptile, rivaling that of modern mammals like the domestic cow. Members are known from all seven continents, although the Antarctic remains are unnamed, and they are generally rare in the Southern Hemisphere.

For more information, visit the Wikipedia entry.

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