Field of Science

New Basal Dinosauromorph Synthesis Paper

A solid review of our current knowledge of non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs such as lagerpetids and silesaurids.

Langer, M. C., Nesbitt, S. J., Bittencourt, J. S., and R. B. Irmis. 2013. Non-Dinosaurian Dinosauromorpha. In Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. and R. B. Irmis, (eds) Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP379.9
 
Abstract - Ichnological evidence suggests that dinosauromorphs originated by the Early Triassic, and skeletal remains of non-dinosaur representatives of the clade occur from the Anisian to the end of the Triassic. These taxa are small- to medium-sized, vary in feeding and locomotor features, and occurred over most of western Pangaea. They include the small lagerpetids from the Mid–Late Triassic of Argentina and the United States, and the larger, quadrupedal Silesauridae, with records in the Middle Triassic of Africa and Argentina, and in the Late Triassic of Europe, the Americas and northern Africa. The former group represents the earliest diverging dinosauromorphs, whereas silesaurids are more closely related to Dinosauria. Other dinosauromorphs include the archetypal early dinosauriform Marasuchus lilloensis (Middle Triassic of Argentina) and poorly known/controversial taxa such as Lewisuchus admixtus and Saltopus elginensis. The earliest diverging dinosauromorphs may have preyed on small animals (including insects), but cranio-dental remains are rare; by contrast, most silesaurids probably included plant material in their diet, as indicated by their modified jaw apparatus and teeth. Our knowledge of the anatomy and thus relationships of non-dinosaurian Dinosauromorpha is still deficient, and we suspect that future discoveries will continue to reveal novel patterns and hypotheses of palaeobiology and biogeography.

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