Temporal range: Late Triassic
Euskelosaurus ("good leg lizard") was a semi-bipedal dinosaur from the Late Triassic. It was a prosauropod that lived in the Late Triassic Period, in present-day South Africa, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe. It was first described by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1866 as Euskelesaurus brownii based on holotype BMNH R1625, limb and spinal bones found by Alfred Brown in 1863. The name was in 1902 emended by Friedrich von Huene into Euskelosaurus. It may actually be the same animal as Plateosauravus also found in southern Africa.
Euskelosaurus has been estimated to have been about ten metres in length, which is somewhat large for a prosauropod. Its limbs were large and sauropod-like. Another distinguishing feature of the limbs of Euskelosaurus is that the shaft of its thigh bone is twisted. Paleontologist Jacques van Heerden has suggested that this configuration effectively rendered Euskelosaurus bow-legged. If this is correct it is highly unusual for a dinosaur, as dinosaur legs are typically oriented directly under the body like in mammals.
- Huxley (1867). "On some Remains of large Dinosaurian Reptiles from the Stormberg Mountains, South Africa". Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 23: 1–6. doi:10.1144/GSL.JGS.1867.023.01-02.07.
- "Euskelosaurus." In: Dodson, Peter & Britt, Brooks & Carpenter, Kenneth & Forster, Catherine A. & Gillette, David D. & Norell, Mark A. & Olshevsky, George & Parrish, J. Michael & Weishampel, David B. The Age of Dinosaurs. Publications International, LTD. p. 35. ISBN 0-7853-0443-6.
- Heerden, J. van, (1979). "The morphology and taxonomy of Euskelosaurus (Reptilia: Saurischia; Late Triassic) from South Africa", Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, 4(2): 23-84
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