Liliensternus

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Liliensternus
Temporal range: Late Triassic, 228–201Ma
Skeleton restoration
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Theropoda
Superfamily: Coelophysoidea
Genus: Liliensternus
Welles, 1984
Type species
Halticosaurus liliensterni
Huene, 1934
Species

Liliensternus liliensterni
(Huene, 1934)

Synonyms

Halticosaurus liliensterni Huene, 1934

Liliensternus (pron.:"LIL-ee-en-SHTER-nus") is an extinct genus of coelophysoid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 210 million years ago during the latter part of the Triassic Period in what is now Germany. Liliensternus' was a moderately large, bipedal, ground-dwelling carnivore, that could grow up to 5.15 m (16.9 ft) long. It is the best represented Triassic theropod from Europe and one of the largest known.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The genus and specific names Liliensternus liliensterni are derived from the last name of count, amateur paleontologist, and medical doctor, Hugo Rühle von Lilienstern. This dinosaur was named in his honor for his furthering paleontology in Germany by founding a paleontological museum in his castle in Bedheim, Germany on 1 July 1934. Liliensternus was described by Friedrich von Huene in 1934. Because it was originally named by von Huene as a member of the genus Halticosaurus, the type species of the genus Liliensternus is Halticosaurus liliensterni; the combinatio nova is Liliensternus liliensterni.

Description[edit]

Life restoration

Liliensternus was approximately 5.15 m (16.9 ft) long, and may have weighed about 127 kg (280 lb).[2] Other estimates suggest that Liliensternus was at best 5.2 m (17.1 ft) long and weighed 200 kilograms (441 pounds) at most.[3] The remains of two specimens of Liliensternus together form a syntype series with inventory number MB.R.2175, and consist of the partial and fragmentary skeletons of at least two individuals, containing elements of the skull, the lower jaws, the vertebrae and the appendicular skeleton. The tibia (409 mm) is shorter than the femur (440 mm) in both Dilophosaurus and Liliensternus but relatively longer than the femurs of the smaller coelophysid taxa. Paul (1988) noted that based on its appearance, Liliensternus could be considered to be an intermediate between Coelophysis and Dilophosaurus. Although the skull is not well known, most reconstructions have Liliensternus with a crest similar to that observed in Dilophosaurus. Its ilium (hip bone) is unusually short, as is the case with Dilophosaurus.[2]

Rauhut et al. (1998) noted that the remains may represent a juvenile or subadult individual based on the presence of only two fused sacrals and the fact that the neurocentral sutures are still visible in the vertebrae.[4]

Invalid species[edit]

In 1993 Gilles Cuny and Peter Galton described a new species that they assigned to this genus, Liliensternus airelensis.[5] Other researchers began to notice differences between L. airelensis and the type species, L. liliensterni,[6] and in 2007, Martin Ezcurra and Cuny assigned the material to its own genus, Lophostropheus.[7]

Classification[edit]

Teeth assigned to Liliensternus sp.
Theropoda 
 Herrerasauridae 

Staurikosaurus




Herrerasaurus



Chindesaurus






Eoraptor




Daemonosaurus




Tawa


 Neotheropoda 
 Coelophysidae 

Megapnosaurus



Coelophysis





Liliensternus




Zupaysaurus




Cryolophosaurus




Dilophosaurus



Jurassic theropods











Basal theropod phylogeny, based on Sues et al., 2011.[8]

In 1934, Huene described two skeletons assigning them the name Halticosaurus liliensterni, but in 1984 Samuel Paul Welles concluded that the type species of Halticosaurus, H. longotarsus, was a nomen dubium. Most what had been written in the literature about Halticosaurus in fact regarded H. liliensterni. Welles therefore erected a new genus: Liliensternus, the name again honoring Rühle von Lilienstern.[9] The new species name became Liliensternus liliensterni. Rowe (1989) found that Liliensternus is more derived than Dilophosaurus. A second species named in 1993 by Cuny and Galton for fragmentary remains found in France, Liliensternus airelensis, which had an extra pair of cervical pleurocoels, was in 2007 reassigned to a separate genus, Lophostropheus.[10] Originally assigned to the Halticosauridae, Liliensternus is today considered a basal member of the Coelophysoidea.

Distinguishing anatomical features[edit]

A diagnosis is a statement of the anatomical features of an organism (or group) that collectively distinguish it from all other organisms. Some, but not all, of the features in a diagnosis are also autapomorphies. An autapomorphy is a distinctive anatomical feature that is unique to a given organism or group.

According to Rauhut (2000), Liliensternus can be distinguished based on the following features:[11]

  • the cervical vertebrae feature a broad rounded ridge that extends from the posterior end of the diapophyses to the posteroventral end of the vertebral centrum
  • one pair of pleurocoels in the cervical vertebrae
  • a less developed infradiapophyseal fossa
  • the absence of a horizontal ridge at the basis of the cervical neural spines
  • absence of a lateral bulge on the ilium.

Paleoecology[edit]

Provenance and Occurrence[edit]

Coat of Arms of Bedheim, depicting L. liliensterni[12]

The specimens of Liliensternus, designated as the syntype series HMN BM.R.2175, were recovered near Großen Gleichberg in the Trossingen Formation of the Middle Keuper Group in Thuringia, Germany. The syntypes were discovered by Count Hugo Rühle von Lilienstern in the winter of 1932/1933[13] in marlstone (lime-rich mudstone) deposited in the Norian stage of the Late Triassic period, approximately 228 to 208 million years ago.[14] A left metatarsal later assigned to this genus, also deposited in the Norian, was collected in 1834 in the sandstone of the Trossingen Formation in Bayern, Germany. This metatarsal was originally described as a manual or pedal element by Meyer (1855) and a pubic fragment by Huene (1908) of the dinosaur Plateosaurus engelhardti. It was re-identified as a proximal metatarsal belonging to Liliensternus by Moser in 2003.[4][15] Sander (1992) referred additional material to Liliensternus, which was thought to have been collected in 1961 grey/green marlstone from the Löwenstein Formation in Aargau, Switzerland, which is considered to also be from the Norian stage of the Late Triassic period.[16] A tooth referred to this Liliensternus, deposited in the Norian, and collected in 1913 in dark red mudstone from the Löwenstein Formation in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The only material assigned to this genus from later strata was discovered in 1913 in blue claystone from the Rhaetian stage of the Late Triassic, in the Trossingen Formation from Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, approximately 208 to 201 million years ago. The Liliensternus specimen remained in Hugo Rühle von Lilienstern's castle until 1969 when they were transferred and are now housed in the collection of the Humboldt Museum in Berlin.

Fauna and Habitat[edit]

Liliensternus was an active bipedal carnivore that might have preyed on herbivores like Plateosaurus, which were present in its paleoenvironment. The material discovered in Switzerland, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany and the tooth from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, suggest that Liliensternus inhabited ancient floodplains that were abundant with reptiles, therapsids, and the dinosaur Plateosaurus.[17] Paul (1988) noted that Liliensternus used its slashing tooth arrays to disable prosauropods and its speed to catch swift ornithischians.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rauhut, O.M.W. & A. Hungerbuhler, 1998, A review of European Triassic theropods. Gaia 15. 75-88.
  2. ^ a b c Paul, Gregory S. (1988). Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. Simon & Schuster. p. 267. ISBN 0-671-61946-2. 
  3. ^ "LILIENSTERNUS". Hostgator.com. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Mortimer, Mickey (2012). "Coelophysoidea". 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Rauhut, Oliver W.M.; and Hungerbühler, A. (2002). "A review of European Triassic theropods". Gaia 15: 75–88. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Hans-Dieter Sues, Sterling J. Nesbitt, David S. Berman and Amy C. Henrici (2011). "A late-surviving basal theropod dinosaur from the latest Triassic of North America". Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278 (1723): 3459–3464
  9. ^ S.P. Welles, 1984, "Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda): osteology and comparisons", Palaeontographica Abteilung A 185: 85-180
  10. ^ Ezcurra, M.D, and Cuny, G. (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.
  11. ^ Rauhut, 2000. The interrelationships and evolution of basal theropods (Dinosauria, Saurischia). Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. Bristol [U.K.]. 440 pp.
  12. ^ http://www.ngw.nl/int/dld/b/bedheim.htm
  13. ^ Barbara A. R. Mohr, Evelyn Kustatscher, Cornelia Hiller and Gottfried Böhme, 2008, "Hugo Rühle v. Lilienstern and his palaeobotanical collection – an East-West German story", Earth Sciences History, 27: 278-296
  14. ^ F. v. Huene, 1934, "Ein neuer Coelurosaurier in der thüringischen Trias", Paläontologische Zeitschrift 16(3/4): 145-170
  15. ^ Moser, 2003. Plateosaurus engelhardti Meyer, 1837 (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) aus dem Feuerletten (Mittelkeuper; Obertrias) von Bayern. Zitteliana B 24, 3-186.
  16. ^ Sander, 1992. The Norian Plateosaurus bonebeds of central Europe and their taphonomy. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 93:255-296.
  17. ^ O. Jaekel. 1913. Über die Wirbeltierfunde in der oberen Trias von Halberstadt [On the vertebrate finds in the Upper Triassic of Halberstadt]. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 1:155-215

External links[edit]