Fulgurotherium

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Fulgurotherium
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Cerapoda
Infraorder: Ornithopoda
Family: ?Hypsilophodontidae
Genus: Fulgurotherium
Species: F. australe
Binomial name
Fulgurotherium australe
von Huene, 1932

Fulgurotherium (meaning "Lightning Beast") is the name given to a genus of dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Albian). It lived in what is now Australia.

The type species, Fulgurotherium australe, was named by Friedrich von Huene in 1932.[1] The genus name is derived from Latin fulgur, "lightning", and Greek therion, "beast", a reference to the Lightning Ridge site in New South Wales. The specific name means "southern" in Latin. The holotype is BMNH R.3719, the opalised lower end of a femur, indicating a total body length of 1 to 1.5 metres.

Von Huene thought it was a theropod, a member of the Ornithomimidae.[2] It has later been described as a hypsilophodont, a primitive ornithopod.[3] However, this was based on a contentious reference of bones found in the Dinosaur Cave, leading to a possible confusion between multiple species of Euornithopoda. Most researchers today consider it a nomen dubium.

Its name is an unusual example of a name in -therium used for an animal which is not a mammal.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ F. v. Huene, 1932, "Die fossile Reptil-Ordnung Saurischia, ihre Entwicklung und Geschichte", Monographien zur Geologie und Palaeontologie, serie 1 4(1-2): 1-361
  2. ^ F. v. Huene, 1944, "Aussichtsreiche Fundgegenden für künftige Sauriergrabungen", Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte, Abteilung B 88: 441-451
  3. ^ R. E. Molnar and P. M. Galton, 1986, "Hypsilophodontid dinosaurs from Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia", Géobios 19(2): 231-239

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