Sacisaurus is a silesaurid dinosauriform from the Late Triassic (Norian) Caturrita Formation of southern Brazil. The scientific name, Sacisaurus agudoensis, refers to the city where the species was found, Agudo in the Rio Grande do Sul state, whereas Sacisaurus refers to Saci, a famous one-legged creature from Brazilian mythology, because the fossil skeleton was found with a leg missing.
|Life reconstruction of Sacisaurus agudoensis|
Ferigolo & Langer 2006
Sacisaurus was approximately 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long and 70 centimetres (2.3 ft) high. Its long and strong legs indicate that it was a fast animal. According to Jorge Ferigolo, paleontologist of Zoobothanic Foundation of Rio Grande do Sul state, the biggest teeth of the genus were just 3 millimetres (0.12 in) long.
The well-preserved jaw indicates that Sacisaurus was an herbivore, and there is a process at the tip that resembles the ornithischian predentary bone. Further research attempted to define if Sacisaurus was the oldest ornithischian dinosaur. In 2011, a cladistic analysis of some of its morphological particularities found that its closest relative was the silesaurid Diodorus.
Sacisaurus was discovered in 2001 in the small municipality of Agudo, in the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul state. With 50 bones, scientists assembled the skeleton and speculated on how the animal might have lived. The fossil was presented for the first time in the 2nd Latin American Congress of Vertebrate Paleontology in 2005.
After the work of Brazilian scientists, the announcement of the discovery of the new species was made on November 1, 2006 at the University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, where the bones were identified and the paper was published in the British scientific journal Historical Biology: A Journal of Paleobiology on October 30, 2006.
The discovery helped scientists to study the feeding habits of dinosaurs and their close relatives, since it is one of the oldest ever found.
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.Dinosauromorpha
Dinosauromorpha is a clade of archosaurs that includes the clade Dinosauria (dinosaurs), and all animals more closely related to dinosaurs than to pterosaurs. Birds are the only surviving dinosauromorphs.Diodorus scytobrachion
Diodorus is a genus of silesaurid dinosauriforms (relatives of basal dinosaurs) from the Late Triassic (Carnian - Norian) Timezgadiouine Formation of the Argana Basin of Morocco. It is named after Diodorus, a legendary king of the Berber people and son of Sufax, the founder of Tangier and also in honour of Diodorus Siculus, a 1st-century Greek historian who wrote about North Africa. The specific epithet, scytobrachion, is ancient Greek for "leather armed", but also honors Dionysius Scytobrachion, a mythographer who chronicled the mythical history of North Africa. The holotype and all referred remains were found in a single quarry at the base of the Irohalene Mudstone Member of the Timezgadiouine Formation in the northeastern Argana Basin, 2.9 kilometres (1.8 mi) east of Imziln, Morocco.
Diodorus can be distinguished from other silesaurids by the presence of forward-slanted teeth that decrease in size towards the front end of the dentary (lower jaw) and a distinct side ridge running parallel to the dentary tooth socket margin. In a phylogenetic analysis, Diodorus was found to be the sister taxon to the Brazilian silesaurid Sacisaurus.Ignotosaurus
Ignotosaurus is an extinct genus of silesaurid dinosauriform known from the Late Triassic (Carnian) Cancha de Bochas Member of the Ischigualasto Formation in the Ischigualasto-Villa Unión Basin in northwestern Argentina. It was therefore contemporary with early dinosaurs such as Herrerasaurus, and lived in the same place.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.Lutungutali
Lutungutali (meaning "high hip" in the Bemba language) is an extinct genus of silesaurid dinosauriform from the Middle Triassic of Zambia. The single type species of the genus is Lutungutali sitwensis. Lutungutali was named in 2013 and described from a fossil specimen, holotype NHCC LB32, including hip bones and tail vertebrae. The specimen was collected in 2009 from the upper Ntawere Formation, which dates to the Anisian stage of the Middle Triassic. Lutungutali is the first known silesaurid from Zambia and, along with the Tanzanian silesaurid Asilisaurus and dinosauriform Nyasasaurus, the oldest bird-line archosaur known from body fossils (i.e. parts of the skeleton).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).Silesauridae
Silesauridae is an extinct clade of Triassic dinosauriformes consisting of the closest known relatives of dinosaurs. As indicated by coprolite contents, some silesaurids such as Silesaurus may have been insectivorous, feeding selectively on small beetles and other arthropods.Silesaurus
Silesaurus is a genus of silesaurid dinosauriform from the Late Triassic, approximately 230 million years ago in the Carnian faunal stage of what is now Poland.
Fossilized remains of Silesaurus have been found in the Keuper Claystone in Krasiejów near Opole, Silesia, Poland, which is also the origin of its name. The type species, Silesaurus opolensis, was described by Jerzy Dzik in 2003. It is known from some 20 skeletons, making it one of the best-represented of the early dinosauriformes.Soumyasaurus
Soumyasaurus is a small silesaurid dinosauriform from the Late Triassic (Norian) Cooper Canyon Formation of western Texas.Unaysaurus
Unaysaurus is a genus of unaysaurid sauropodomorph herbivore dinosaur. Discovered in southern Brazil, in the geopark of Paleorrota, in 1998, and announced in a press conference on Thursday, December 3, 2004, it is one of the oldest dinosaurs known. It is closely related to plateosaurid dinosaurs found in Germany, which indicates that it was relatively easy for species to spread across the giant landmass of the time, the supercontinent of Pangaea.The fossils of Unaysaurus are well preserved. They consist of an almost complete skull, complete with a lower jaw, and partial skeleton with many of the bones still connected to each other in their natural positions. It is one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons (including complete skull) ever recovered in Brazil.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.