Asilisaurus

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Asilisaurus
Temporal range: Middle Triassic, 245Ma
Asilisaurus.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauriformes
Clade: Silesauridae
Genus: Asilisaurus
Nesbitt et al., 2010
Species: † A. kongwe
Binomial name
Asilisaurus kongwe
Nesbitt et al., 2010

Asilisaurus (/ɑːˌslˈsɔrəs/ a-SEE-lee-SAWR-əs; from Swahili, asili ("ancestor" or "foundation"), and Greek, σαυρος (sauros, "lizard") is an extinct genus of silesaurid archosaur. It is one of the oldest known animals on the dinosaur/pterosaur side of the archosaurian tree (the Avemetatarsalia), dating to about 245 million years ago.[1]

Fossils were uncovered in Tanzania and date back to the Anisian stage of the Middle Triassic. It was described in 2010 by a team of researchers from the United States, Germany, and South Africa, in the journal Nature; the type species is A. kongwe. It is the first example of an avian-line radiation during the Anisian, with the diversification of archosaurs during this time previously only documented from crocodylian-line archosaurs. It was the first non-dinosaurian dinosauriform recovered from Africa.[2]

Asilisaurus measured from 1 to 3 metres (3 to 10 ft) long and 0.5 to 1 metre (2 to 3 ft) high at the hip, and weighed 10 to 30 kilograms (20 to 70 lb).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nesbitt, S.J.; Sidor, C.A.; Irmis, R.B.; Angielczyk, K.D.; Smith, R.M.H.; Tsuji, L.M.A. (2010). "Ecologically distinct dinosaurian sister group shows early diversification of Ornithodira". Nature 464 (7285): 95–98. doi:10.1038/nature08718. PMID 20203608. 
  2. ^ a b "Oldest known dinosaur relative discovered". ScienceDaily. March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.