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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Iziko Thigh bone kangnasaurus.JPG
Thigh bone
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Ornithopoda
Superfamily: Dryosauroidea
Family: Dryosauridae
Genus: Kangnasaurus
Haughton, 1915
Species: † K. coetzeei
Binomial name
Kangnasaurus coetzeei
Haughton, 1915

Kangnasaurus (meaning "Farm Kangnas lizard") is a genus of iguanodontian ornithopod dinosaur found in supposedly Early Cretaceous rocks of South Africa. It is known from a tooth and possibly some postcranial remains. At times, it has been considered dubious or a valid genus. It was probably similar to Dryosaurus.

Description and history[edit]

Kangnasaurus was named in 1915 by Sidney H. Haughton. The type species is Kangnasaurus coetzeei. The generic name refers to the Kangnas farm; the specific name to the farmer, Coetzee. Kangnasaurus is based on holotype SAM 2732, a tooth found at a depth of 34 metres in a well at Farm Kangnas, in the Orange River valley of northern Cape Province, South Africa.[1] The age of these rocks, conglomerates in an ancient crater lake, is unclear; they are thought to be from the Early Cretaceous.[2] Haughton thought SAM 2732 was a tooth from the upper jaw, but Michael Cooper reidentified it as a lower jaw tooth in 1985.[3] This had implications for its classification: Haughton thought the tooth was that of an iguanodontid,[1] while Cooper identified it as from an animal more like Dryosaurus, a more basal ornithopod.[3]

Haughton described several other fossils as possibly belonging to Kangnasaurus. These include five partial thigh bones, a partial thigh bone and shin bone, a partial metatarsal, a partial shin and foot, vertebrae, and unidentified bones. Some of the bones apparently came from other deposits, and Haughton was not certain that they all belonged to his new genus.[1] Cooper was also not certain, but described the other specimens as if they did belong to Kangnasaurus.[3]

Kangnasaurus is usually regarded as dubious,[4][5] although a 2007 review of dryosaurids by Ruiz-Omeñaca and colleagues retained it as potentially valid, differing from other dryosaurids by details of the thigh bone.[2] Like other basal iguanodontians, it would have been a bipedal herbivore.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Haughton, Sidney H. (1915). "On some dinosaur remains from Bushmanland". Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 5: 259–264. doi:10.1080/00359191509519723. 
  2. ^ a b Ruiz-Omeñaca, José Ignacio; Pereda Suberbiola, Xavier; and Galton, Peter M. (2007). "Callovosaurus leedsi, the earliest dryosaurid dinosaur (Ornithischia: Euornithopoda) from the Middle Jurassic of England". In Carpenter, Kenneth (ed.). Horns and Beaks: Ceratopsian and Ornithopod Dinosaurs. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 3–16. ISBN 0-253-34817-X. 
  3. ^ a b c Cooper, Michael R. (1985). "A revision of the ornithischian dinosaur Kangnasaurus coetzeei Haughton, with a classification of the Ornithischia". Annals of the South African Museum 95 (8): 281–317. 
  4. ^ Sues, Hans-Dieter; Norman, David B. (1990). "Hypsilophodontidae, Tenontosaurus, Dryosauridae". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.). The Dinosauria (1st ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 498–509. ISBN 0-520-06727-4. 
  5. ^ a b Norman, David B. (2004). "Basal Iguanodontia". In Weishampel, D.B.; Dodson, P.; and Osmólska, H. (eds.). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 413–437. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.