Three Origami Dinosaurs

Written by RussellAdvanced, Animals


three origami dinosaurs: Styracosaurus and Spinosaurus were both designed by Chen Xiao, and the Carnotaurus is by Satoshi Kamiya.

“Open the door, get on the floor
Everybody walk the dinosaur”
-Was (Not Was)

Jumping on a dinosaur-shaped bandwagon

Here in Norwich, UK there is a bit of a dinosaur theme going on this summer. Dippy, the replica diplodocus from The Natural History Museum in London, is on tour and is on display in Norwich Cathedral until October.

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As well as Dippy’s summer sabbatical, there are 21 brightly painted Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures dotted around the city. These make up this year’s GoGo Discover Dinosaur Trail organized in aid of Break – a charity that supports children in care.

A few shops and gallery spaces have decided to get in on the dinosaur action, so I thought I’d join them. It’s been ages since I posted about a dinosaur model. Yes I know it’s been quite a long time since I posted about anything at all, but that’s not the point. I’ve only featured one dinosaur model before – a Stegosaurus by John Montroll – and that was five years ago! Time for a few more.

origami Styracosaurus designed by Chen Xiao

Three dinosaurs, two creators, one folder

There is a huge range of origami dinosaur models available, and these are three of my favourites. The Styracosaurus (the four legged one) and the Spinosaurus (the one with the ridge on its back) were both designed by Chen Xiao, and the Carnotaurus is by Satoshi Kamiya.  There are several T-Rex models and Triceratops designs, but I like these as they are a little bit more unusual. I particularly like the Styracosaurus as it is more three-dimensional than the other two models, which gives it more of a sense of character. I folded all three.

origami spinosaurus by Chen Xiao - origami dinosaur

Chen Xiao’s models are much more recent creations than Kamiya’s. The Spinosaurus is a 2017 design, and the Styracosaurus dates from 2019. Kamiya has said that the Carnotaurus was his first real attempt at designing intentionally, rather than just trial and error, back in 1995.

If you like Chen Xiao’s style of design, check out my blog posts on his series of origami girls and his origami husky.  I have also written about Kamiya’s Pegasus.

Folding the dinosaurs

All three of these are complex models, and not suitable for the beginner. They need accuracy, and familiarity with techniques like colour-changes and both open and closed sinks. The end result is worth it though for all three. They all take some time to fold. I did them all in stages over several days so I couldn’t say how long each one took me precisely, but I’d say they all took two or three hours to do.

origami carnotaurus designed by Satoshi Kamiya - origami dinosaur

The Spinosaurus uses a sheet of 23cm x 23cm (about 9in x 9in) foil sandwich paper, and the final model is 16cm (approx. 6.25in) from nose to tail and stands 9cm (3.5in) tall. The Styracosaurus is slightly more complex. It is made from a 35cm x 35cm (around 13.75in square) sheet of the same foil sandwich paper, and comes out a similar size. The finished model is 19cm (7.5in) long and 10cm (4in) in height. The Carnotaurus is made from a 30cm x 30cm (12in x 12in) sheet of tissue foil and the final model is the same length as the Spinosaurus (16cm), and stands 7cm (a little under 3in) tall.

All these papers are available from the

Folding Instructions for the Three Dinosaurs

Kamiya’s Carnotaurus is the first model in his book Works of Satoshi Kamiya 1995-2003. Both of the Chen Xiao dinosaurs are available in his book Amazing Origami. Both of these books are only available from

I will be reviewing both of these books at some point, so keep an eye on this site for those.  Hopefully I’ll get at least one of these book reviews done before Dippy leaves the Cathedral.

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on these origami dinosaurs.  What is your favourite origami dinosaur model? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!


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About the Author


Russell has been folding origami since he was 8 years old and has recently written the book, Origami Made Simple. He is on the Council for the British Origami Society and a member of OrigamiUSA. When he is not folding, he enjoys photography and traveling.

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