Ignavusaurus

Ignavusaurus is a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur that lived during the Early Jurassic in what is now Lesotho. Its fossils were found in the Upper Elliot Formation which is probably Hettangian in age (around 200 million years ago). It was described on the basis of a partial, well preserved articulated skeleton. The type species, I. rachelis, was described in 2010 by Spanish palaeontologist F. Knoll.

Ignavusaurus
Temporal range: Early Jurassic, Hettangian
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Clade: Massopoda
Genus: Ignavusaurus
Knoll, 2010
Species:
I. rachelis
Binomial name
Ignavusaurus rachelis
Knoll, 2010

Discovery

The holotype was discovered in southern Lesotho near Ha Ralekoala. The fossils were discovered in a mostly articulated state, although the skull was badly damaged, having broken into more than 120 fragments. An unpublished 2002 Ph.D dissertation referred to the remains, but they were not formally described for several years, and the find remained unpublished.[1]

In 2010, the fossils were described by F. Knoll of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC in Madrid as a new taxon, Ignavusaurus rachelis. The fossils were brought to the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, where they were provisionally catalogued as BM HR 20; the plan was to return the fossils to Lesotho upon the opening of the Lesotho National Museum.[1]

Etymology

The generic name Ignavusaurus is derived from the Latin word ignavus ("coward") and Ancient Greek sauros ("lizard"). It refers to the type locality – Ha Ralekoala, that literally means "The place of the father of the coward". The specific name of the type species, rachelis, honours Spanish palaeontologist Raquel López-Antoñanzas.[1]

Description

The holotype had a body length of about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) and weighed about 22.5 kilograms (50 lb). Histological analysis of the humerus and femur indicates that BM HR 20 was fast-growing individual, maybe less than one year old, based on age determination studies.[1]

Like other early sauropodomorphs, Ignavusaurus had a long, slender neck and tail. It generally resembled Massospondylus and Melanorosaurus, two other sauropodomorphs from southern Africa, although the shape and position of the teeth, among other factors, led Knoll to conclude that the remains belong to a previously unknown genus.[1]

Classification

Ignavusaurus is a basal sauropodomorph, a member of the long-necked, herbivorous, saurischian dinosaurs. Although originally recovered as more primitive than Plateosauria by Knoll (2010), Yates et al. (2011) noted that some characters used to place Ignavusaurus outside Massopoda are reflective of juvenile status and instead are more similar to juvenile Massospondylus, considering Ignavusaurus probably synonymous with Massospondylus.[2] Meanwhile, a cladistic analysis presented by Apaldetti et al. (2011) found Ignavusaurus to be a valid genus which is most closely related to Sarahsaurus within Massopoda, somewhat agreeing with Yates et al. that Ignavusaurus is not as primitive as originally thought.[3] A cladistic analysis conducted by Chapelle and Choiniere (2018) in their paper updating knowledge of the skull of Massospondylus recovered Ignavusaurus along with Sarahsaurus in Massospondylidae, as did the cladistic analysis of Chapelle et al. (2019).[4][5]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Knoll, Fabien (2010). "A primitive sauropodomorph from the upper Elliot Formation of Lesotho". Geological Magazine. 147 (6): 814–829. doi:10.1017/S001675681000018X. Archived from the original on 2012-03-13.
  2. ^ Yates, Adam M.; Matthew F. Bonnan; Johann Neveling (2011). "A new basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of South Africa". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 31 (3): 610–625. doi:10.1080/02724634.2011.560626.
  3. ^ Cecilia Apaldetti, Ricardo N. Martinez, Oscar A. Alcober and Diego Pol (2011). Claessens, Leon (ed.). "A New Basal Sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from Quebrada del Barro Formation (Marayes-El Carrizal Basin), Northwestern Argentina". PLoS ONE. 6 (11): e26964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026964. PMC 3212523. PMID 22096511.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Chapelle KEJ, Choiniere JN. (2018) A revised cranial description of Massospondylus carinatus Owen (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) based on computed tomographic scans and a review of cranial characters for basal Sauropodomorpha. PeerJ 6:e4224 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4224
  5. ^ Chapelle KEJ, Barrett PM, Botha J, Choiniere JN. 2019. Ngwevu intloko: a new early sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa and comments on cranial ontogeny in Massospondylus carinatus. PeerJ 7:e7240 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7240
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.

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.

Haya griva

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

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.

Massospondylidae

Massospondylidae is a family of early massopod dinosaurs that existed in Asia, Africa, South America and Antarctica during the Late Triassic to the Early Jurassic periods. Several dinosaurs have been classified as massospondylids over the years. The largest cladistic analysis of early sauropodomorphs, which was presented by Apaldetti and colleagues in November 2011, found Adeopapposaurus, Coloradisaurus, Glacialisaurus, Massospondylus, Leyesaurus and Lufengosaurus to be massospondylids. This result supports many previous analyses that tested fewer taxa. However, this analysis found the two recently described North American massopods, Sarahsaurus and Seitaad, and the South African Ignavusaurus to nest outside Massospondylidae, as opposed to some provisional proposals. Earlier in 2011, Pradhania, a sauropodomorph from India, was tested for the first time in a large cladistic analysis and was found to be a relatively basal massospondylid. Mussaurus and Xixiposaurus may also be included within Massospondylidae. In 2019, a specimen previously assigned to Massospondylus from South Africa was re-examined and found to belong to a separate genus that was named Ngwevu.

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.

Mussaurus

Mussaurus (meaning "mouse lizard") is a genus of herbivorous sauropodomorph dinosaur that lived in southern Argentina during the Late Triassic, about 215 million years ago. It receives its name from the small size of the skeletons of juvenile and infant individuals, which were once the only known specimens of the genus. However, since Mussaurus is now known from adult specimens, the name is something of a misnomer; adults possibly reached 6 metres (20 ft) in length and weighed more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Mussaurus possesses anatomical features suggesting a close, possibly transitional evolutionary relationship with true 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.

Plateosauria

Plateosauria is a clade of sauropodomorph dinosaurs which lived during the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous. The name Plateosauria was first coined by Gustav Tornier in 1913. The name afterwards fell out of use until the 1980s.

Plateosauria is a node-based taxon. In 1998, Paul Sereno defined Plateosauria as the last common ancestor of Plateosaurus engelhardti and Massospondylus carinatus, and its descendants. Peter Galton and Paul Upchurch in 2004 used a different definition: the last common ancestor of Plateosaurus engelhardti and Jingshanosaurus xinwaensis, and its descendants. In their cladistic analysis the Plateosauria belonged to the Prosauropoda, and included the Plateosauridae subgroup. In Galton's and Upchurch's study also Coloradisaurus, Euskelosaurus, Jingshanosaurus, Massospondylus, Mussaurus, Sellosaurus, and Yunnanosaurus proved to be plateosaurians.However, recent cladistic analyses suggest that the Prosauropoda as traditionally defined is paraphyletic to sauropods. Prosauropoda, as currently defined, is a synonym of Plateosauridae as both contain the same taxa by definition.

The following cladogram simplified after an analysis presented by Apaldetti and colleagues in 2011.

The following cladogram simplified after an analysis presented by Blair McPhee and colleagues in 2014.

Raeticodactylidae

Raeticodactylidae is a family of eudimorphodontoid eopterosaurian pterosaurs that lived in Switzerland during the Late Triassic. The family includes Caviramus, and the type genus Raeticodactylus, which are both known from the Kössen Formation, around 205 mya. Raeticodactylidae was first used in 2014 by Andres et al., as a group of all pterosaurs closer to Raeticodactylus than Eudimorphodon. The following phylogenetic analysis follows the topology of Andres et al. (2014).

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).

Sarahsaurus

Sarahsaurus is a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur which lived during the lower Jurassic period in what is now northeastern Arizona, United States.

Xixiposaurus

Xixiposaurus is a genus of prosauropod dinosaur which existed in what is now Lower Lufeng Formation, China during the lower Jurassic period. It was first named by Sekiya Toru in 2010 and the type species is Xixiposaurus suni.

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