Eodromaeus

Eodromaeus (meaning "dawn runner") was a genus of basal theropod dinosaur known from the Late Triassic (Carnian) Valle de la Luna Member of the Ischigualasto Formation of the Ischigualasto-Villa Unión Basin in northwestern Argentina.[1] It has been cited by Sereno as resembling a supposed common ancestor to all dinosaurs, the "Eve" of the dinosaurs.[2]

Eodromaeus
Temporal range: Carnian
~231.4–229 Ma
Eodromaeus murphi
Restored skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Genus: Eodromaeus
Martinez et al. 2011
Species:
E. murphi
Binomial name
Eodromaeus murphi
Martinez et al. 2011

Etymology

Eodromaeus was named by Ricardo N. Martínez, Paul C. Sereno, Oscar A. Alcober, Carina E. Colombi, Paul R. Renne, Isabel P. Montañez and Brian S. Currie in 2011 and the type species is Eodromaeus murphi. The generic name is derived from the Greek words Eos ("Dawn", "Early") and Dromaeus ("Runner"). The specific name honors Jim Murphy, who used to work the area nearby where the fossils were found.[1]

Discovery

Eodromaeus 400 AJV
Artistic restoration

Fossils from Eodromaeus were first discovered in 1996 by Argentinean paleontologist Ricardo N. Martinez and Earthwatch volunteer Jim Murphy, and it was first believed that the fossils were a new species of Eoraptor. However, as the researchers started to take a closer look at the fossils, they found that it had many skeletal features which were absent in Eoraptor,[3] and they understood that it came from a new genus.

Eodromaeus is known from the holotype PVSJ 560, a nearly complete articulated skeleton recovered from the Valle de la Luna Member of the top of the Ischigualasto Formation, and the referred materials PVSJ 534, PVSJ 561, PVSJ 562 and PVSJ 877 from Valle de la Luna, La Peña and Cancha de Bochas Members of Ischigualasto, dating to the early Carnian faunal stage of the early Late Triassic, about 232–229 million years ago.[1]

Description

Eodromaeus SIZE 01
Size comparison between Eodromaeus and a human.

Eodromaeus was a relatively small dinosaur, with a total length of about 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) from nose to tail, and a weight of about 5 kilograms (11 lb). The trunk was long and slender. It is unknown how fast Eodromaeus could run, but it has been suggested to about 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph).[4] It is a basal carnivorous theropod. The forelimbs were much shorter than the hindlimbs, ending in hands with 5 digits. Digits IV and V (the ring finger and little finger in humans) were very reduced in size.[1]

Phylogeny

Eodromaeus NT
Restoration

Eodromaeus is regarded as one of the earliest members of Theropoda, the group that includes the carnivorous dinosaurs. The discovery of Eodromaeus lead some to believe that Eoraptor (typically regarded as a theropod) likely represented one of the most basal sauropodomorphs, the group that includes animals like Apatosaurus.[1] This has since been questioned however, with Bergman and Sues reclaiming Eoraptor as a theropod, like Eodromaeus.[5] This relationship was also recovered in the large analyses of early dinosaurs and other dinosauromorphs that were carried out by Baron, Norman and Barrett (2017).[6]

Cladogram after Martinez et al., 2011:[1]

Dinosauromorpha

Lagerpetonidae

Marasuchus

Silesauridae

Dinosauria

Ornithischia

Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha

Eoraptor

Panphagia

Saturnalia

Sauropodiformes

Theropoda

Herrerasaurus

Staurikosaurus

Eodromaeus

Neotheropoda

Coelophysoidea

Tawa

Dilophosaurus

"Syntarsus" kayentakatae

S. rhodesiensis

Coelophysis

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Martínez et al., 2011
  2. ^ Bowdler N, "'Dawn runner casts light on birth of the dinosaurs", www.bbc.co.uk, 2011-01-13.
  3. ^ Choi T.Q., "Dinosaur Graveyard Reveals Oldest T. Rex Relative: Dawn Runner", www.FoxNews.com, 2011-01-13.
  4. ^ Weise E, "New dog-sized dinosaur discovered", www.usatoday.com, 2011-01-23.
  5. ^ Bergman D.S., Sues H-D. (2011), "A late-surviving basal theropod dinosaur from the latest Triassic of North America", Proceedings of the Royal Society B, published online 2011-04-13.
  6. ^ Baron, M.G., Norman, D.B., and Barrett, P.M. (2017). A new hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution. Nature, 543: 501–506. doi:10.1038/nature21700

Bibliography

External links

Averostra

Averostra, or "bird snouts", is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs that have a promaxillary fenestra (fenestra promaxillaris), an extra opening in the front outer side of the maxilla, the bone that makes up the upper jaw. Two groups of averostrans, the Ceratosauria and the Orionides, survived into the Cretaceous period. When the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event occurred, ceratosaurians and two groups of orionideans within the clade Coelurosauria, the Tyrannosauroidea and Maniraptoriformes, were still extant. Only one subgroup of maniraptoriformes, Aves, survived the extinction event and persisted to the present day.

Avetheropoda

Avetheropoda, or "bird theropods", is a clade that includes carnosaurians and coelurosaurs to the exclusion of other dinosaurs.

Cerapoda

Cerapoda ("ceratopsians and ornithopods") is a clade of the dinosaur order Ornithischia.

Daemonosaurus

Daemonosaurus (pron.:"DAY-mow-no-SORE-us") is an extinct genus of theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of New Mexico. Fossils have been found from deposits in the Chinle Formation, which is latest Triassic in age. While theropods had diversified into several specialized groups by this time, Daemonosaurus is a basal theropod that lies outside the clade Neotheropoda. Daemonosaurus is unusual among early theropods in that it had a short skull and long protruding teeth.

Dinosauriformes

Dinosauriformes is a clade of archosaurian reptiles that include the dinosaurs and their most immediate relatives. All dinosauriformes are distinguished by several features, such as shortened forelimbs and a partially to fully perforated acetabulum, the hole in the hip socket traditionally used to define dinosaurs. The oldest known member is Asilisaurus, dating to about 245 million years ago in the Anisian age of the middle Triassic period.

Eoraptor

Eoraptor () was one of the earliest-known dinosaurs, living approximately 231 to 228 million years ago, during the Late Triassic in Western Gondwana, in the region that is now northwestern Argentina. It was a small, lightly-built, basal theropod dinosaur. It is known from several well-preserved skeletons. When first described in 1993, it was considered to be one of the earliest, if not the earliest-known dinosaur. Eoraptor has heterodont dentition, suggesting that it was omnivorous, and that this feeding strategy had evolved early on in dinosaurs.

Haya griva

Haya is an extinct genus of basal neornithischian dinosaur known from Mongolia.

Herrerasauridae

Herrerasauridae is a family of carnivorous basal saurischian dinosaurs. They are among the oldest known dinosaurs, first appearing in the fossil record around 233.23 million years ago (Late Triassic), before becoming extinct by the end of the Triassic period. Herrerasaurids were relatively small-sized dinosaurs, normally not more than 4 metres (13 ft) long. The best known representatives of this group are from South America (Brazil, Argentina), where they were first discovered in the 1960s. A nearly complete skeleton of Herrerasaurus ischigulastensis was discovered in the Ischigualasto Formation in San Juan, Argentina, in 1988. Less complete herrerasaurids have been found in North America, and they may have inhabited other continents as well.

Herrerasaurid anatomy is unusual and specialized, and they are not considered to be ancestral to any later dinosaur group. They only superficially resemble theropods and often present a mixture of very primitive and derived traits. The acetabulum is only partly open, and there are only two sacral vertebrae, the lowest number among dinosaurs. The pubic bone has a derived structure, being rotated somewhat posteriorly and folded to create a superficially tetanuran-like terminal expansion, especially prominent in H. ischigulastensis. The hand is primitive in having five metacarpals and the third finger longer than the second, but resembles those of theropods in having only three long fingers, with curved claws. Herrerasaurids also have a hinged mandible, which is also found in theropods.

Jeholosauridae

Jeholosaurids were herbivorous neornithischian dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period (Aptian - Santonian, with a possible Campanian record) of Asia. The family was first proposed by Han et al. in 2012. The jeholosaurids were defined as those ornithischians more closely related to Jeholosaurus shangyuanensis than to Hypsilophodon foxii, Iguanodon bernissartensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis, or Thescelosaurus neglectus. The Jeholosauridae includes the type genus Jeholosaurus and Yueosaurus.

Jingshanosaurus

Jingshanosaurus (meaning "Jingshan lizard") is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the early Jurassic period.

Lepidus praecisio

Lepidus is a genus of extinct coelophysoidean theropod from the Upper Triassic of the United States. It lived in the Otis Chalk localities of the Dockum Group in Texas, around 223 million years ago.

Melanorosauridae

The Melanorosauridae were a family of sauropodomorph dinosaurs which lived during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The name Melanorosauridae was first coined by Friedrich von Huene in 1929. Huene assigned several families of dinosaurs to the infraorder "Prosauropoda": the Anchisauridae, the Plateosauridae, the Thecodontosauridae, and the Melanorosauridae. Since then, these families have undergone numerous revisions. Galton and Upchurch (2004) considered Camelotia, Lessemsaurus, and Melanorosaurus members of the family Melanorosauridae. A more recent study by Yates (2007) indicates that the melanorosaurids were instead early sauropods.

Neotheropoda

Neotheropoda (meaning "new theropods") is a clade that includes coelophysoids and more advanced theropod dinosaurs, and the only group of theropods who survived the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Yet all of the neotheropods became extinct during the early Jurassic period except for Averostra.

Orionides

Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.

Orodrominae

Orodrominae is a subfamily of parksosaurid dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia.

Riojasauridae

Riojasauridae is a family of sauropod-like dinosaurs from the Upper Triassic. It is known primarily from the genera Riojasaurus and Eucnemesaurus. Sites containing Riojasauridae include the Lower Elliot Formation of Orange Free State, South Africa (where fossils of Eucnemesaurus have been found), and Ischigualasto, in La Rioja Province, Argentina ( where fossils of Riojasaurus have been recovered).

Theropoda

Theropoda ( or , from Greek θηρίον "wild beast" and πούς, ποδός "foot") or theropods () are a dinosaur suborder that is characterized by hollow bones and three-toed limbs. They are generally classed as a group of saurischian dinosaurs, although a 2017 paper has instead placed them in the proposed clade Ornithoscelida as the closest relatives of the Ornithischia. Theropods were ancestrally carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved to become herbivores, omnivores, piscivores, and insectivores. Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by about 10,500 living species.

Yueosaurus

Yueosaurus is an extinct genus of basal ornithopod dinosaur known from Zhejiang Province, China.

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