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Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 152–151 Ma
D. lettowvorbecki.jpg
D. lettowvorbecki skeleton in Berlin
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Ornithopoda
Superfamily: Dryosauroidea
Family: Dryosauridae
Genus: Dysalotosaurus
Virchow, 1919
Species: † D. lettowvorbecki
Binomial name
Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki
Virchow, 1919

Dysalotosaurus (meaning 'uncatchable lizard') is a genus of herbivorous iguanodontian dinosaur. It was a dryosaurid iguanodontian, and its fossils have been found in late Kimmeridgian age-rocks (Late Jurassic) of the Tendaguru Formation, Tanzania. The type species of Dysalotosaurus is D. lettowvorbecki. Dysalotosaurus was named by Rudolf Virchow in 1919. It has long been referred to approximate contemporary Dryosaurus but newer studies reject this synonymy.[1][2]


Side view of skeleton

Dysalotosaurus was a precocial dinosaur, which experienced sexual maturity at ten years, had an indeterminate growth pattern, and maximum growth rates comparable to a large kangaroo.[3]


In 2011 paleontologists Florian Witzmann and Oliver Hampe from the Museum für Naturkunde and colleagues discovered that deformations of some Dysalotosaurus bones were likely caused by a viral infection similar to Paget's disease of bone. This is the oldest evidence of viral infection known to science.[4]


  1. ^ Tom R. Hübner and Oliver W. M. Rauhut (2010). "A juvenile skull of Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki (Ornithischia: Iguanodontia), and implications for cranial ontogeny, phylogeny, and taxonomy in ornithopod dinosaurs". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160 (2): 366–396. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00620.x. 
  2. ^ McDonald AT, Kirkland JI, DeBlieux DD, Madsen SK, Cavin J; et al. (2010). "New Basal Iguanodonts from the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah and the Evolution of Thumb-Spiked Dinosaurs". PLoS ONE 5 (11): e14075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014075. PMC 2989904. PMID 21124919. 
  3. ^ Hübner, T. R. (2012). Laudet, Vincent, ed. "Bone Histology in Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki (Ornithischia: Iguanodontia) – Variation, Growth, and Implications". PLoS ONE 7 (1): e29958. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029958. PMC 3253128. PMID 22238683. 
  4. ^ Witzmann, F., Claeson, K.M., Hampe, O., Wieder, F., Hilger, A., Manke, I., Niederhagen, M., Rothschild, B.M. & Asbach, P. 2011. "Paget disease of bone in a Jurassic dinosaur". Current Biology 21(17) R647-R648 (13 September 2011) doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.006 biology/pdf/PIIS0960982211008815.pdf?intermediate=true