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Temporal range: Carnian
Arctosaurus osborni.jpg
Sketch of the holotype
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Crocopoda
Clade: Allokotosauria
Genus: Arctosaurus
Adams 1875
Type species
Arctosaurus osborni
Adams 1875

Arctosaurus is an extinct genus of archosauromorph, possibly an allokotosaurian,[1] but was often classified as a sauropodomorph dinosaur in the years to follow. Although it has also been classified as a theropod, recent review finds that the similarities it shares with theropods are spread throughout several groups of Late Triassic reptiles, and so it cannot be assigned any more specifically than to Archosauriformes.[2] Other authors have suggested trilophosaurian affinities.[3][4] Based on the size of the vertebra, a size of about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in length is extrapolated.

Discovery and naming[edit]

It is based on a neck vertebra that was found on Cameron Island, Nunavut, Canada, in Late Triassic-age rocks of the Heiberg Formation. In 2016, new material of Arctosaurus osborni was described from Canada.[1] The name Arctosaurus means "arctic lizard" in reference to the latitude where the holotype was discovered.


  1. ^ a b Sues, Hans-Dieter (18 October 2016). "Arctosaurus osborni, a Late Triassic archosauromorph reptile from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 0 (ja). doi:10.1139/cjes-2016-0159. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  2. ^ Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Irmis, Randall B.; Parker, William G. (2007). "A critical re-evaluation of the Late Triassic dinosaur taxa of North America". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 5 (2): 209–243. doi:10.1017/S1477201907002040.
  3. ^ Glut, D.F. (1997). "Excluded Genera". Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia. McFarland & Company. pp. 1005–1010. ISBN 0-89950-917-7.
  4. ^ Russell, Dale A. (1989). An Odyssey in Time: Dinosaurs of North America. Minocqua, Wisconsin: NorthWord Press, Inc. p. 26. ISBN 1-55971-038-1.