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Lophostropheus
Fossil range: Late Triassic-Early Jurassic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Coelophysoidea
Genus: Lophostropheus
Binomial name
Lophostropheus airelensis
Ezcurra and Cuny, 2007

Lophostropheus (meaning "crest vertebrae") was a genus of coelophysoid dinosaur from the Rhaetian-Hettangian-age (Late Triassic-Early Jurassic) Moon-Airel Formation of Normandy, France. It is based on a partial skeleton first described in 1966 as a specimen of Halticosaurus. It is one of the few dinosaurs known from rocks near the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

The type species, Lophostropheus airelensis, was formally described by Argentine paleontologist Martin Ezcurra of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales in Buenos Aires and French paleontologist Gilles Cuny of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.

Contents

Description

Lophostropheus differs from other theropods in several ways. It has features reminiscent of more derived theropods, such as having a ball connection to the front of its neck vertebrae, a socket connection to the front of its tail vertebrae, and a vertical ridge on the ilium. These are all interpreted as convergences, however.[1] It also has prominent crests on the tops and bottoms of its neck vertebrae (for which it was named),[1] and an extra pair of cavities in its neck vertebrae, unlike Liliensternus.[2] It was closer to the coelophysids, including the well-known Coelophysis, than to Liliensternus.[1]

History of discovery

In 1966, the French paleontologists C. Larsonneur and Albert-Félix de Lapparent described a partial theropod skeleton from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary of Normandy as Halticosaurus sp.[3] This specimen, now held at the University of Caen, consisted of a tooth, five neck vertebrae, two vertebrae from the back, four sacral vertebrae, tail vertebrae, portions of all the pelvic bones, and an unidentified fragment.[1] It was reinterpreted in 1993 by Gilles Cuny and Peter Galton as belonging to a new species, assigned to Liliensternus and named L. airelensis.[4] Other researchers began to notice differences between L. airelensis and the type species, L. liliensterni,[2] and in 2007, Martin Ezcurra and Cuny assigned it to its own genus, Lophostropheus.[1]

Paleobiology

Lophostropheus, as a coelophysoid, would have been a small- to medium-sized bipedal carnivore,[5] probably comparable in size and habits to Liliensternus (best specimen estimated at 5.15 meters long, or 16.9 feet).[6] Very few dinosaurs are known from its time period; in fact, it is the only theropod genus known from good remains at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Ezcurra, Martin D.; and Cuny, Gilles (2007). "The coelophysoid Lophostropheus airelensis, gen. nov.: a review of the systematics of "Liliensternus" airelensis from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary outcrops of Normandy (France)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27 (1): 73–86. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2007)27[73:TCLAGN]2.0.CO;2.  
  2. ^ a b Rauhut, Oliver W.M.; and Hungerbühler, A. (2002). "A review of European Triassic theropods". Gaia 15: 75–88.  
  3. ^ C., Larsonneur; and de Lapparent, Albert-Félix (1966). "Un dinosaurien carnivore, Halticosaurus, dans le Rhétien d'Airel (Manche)" (in French). Bulletin de la Société Linnéenne de Normandie 7: 108–117.  
  4. ^ Cuny, Gilles; and Galton, Peter M. (1993). "Revision of the Airel theropod dinosaur from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (Normany, France)". Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 187 (3): 261–288.  
  5. ^ Tykoski, Ronald S.; and Rowe, Timothy (2004). "Ceratosauria". in Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 47–70. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.  
  6. ^ Paul, Gregory S. (1988). Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. p. 267. ISBN 0-671-61946-2.  
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