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Temporal range: Late Jurassic
Ardeosaurus 1.JPG
Fossil specimen
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Genus: Ardeosaurus
Meyer, 1860
Type species
Homeosaurus brevipes
Meyer, 1855
  • A. brevipes (Meyer, 1855)
  • A. digitalellus Grier, 1914

Ardeosaurus is an extinct genus of basal lizards, known from fossils found in the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Plattenkalk of Bavaria, southern Germany.

Life restoration

Ardeosaurus was originally considered to be a distant relative to modern geckos, and had a similar physical appearance, though more modern phylogenetic analysis has shown it to be a basal squamate outside the crown group of all living lizards and snakes.[1] It was around 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, with a flattened head and large eyes. It was probably nocturnal, and had jaws specialised for feeding on insects and spiders.[2]


  1. ^ Evans, S. E., Wang, Y., & Li, C. (2005). The early Cretaceous lizard genus Yabeinosaurus from China: resolving an enigma. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 3, 319-335.
  2. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 86. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.