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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous, 70 Ma
Noasaurus leali.jpg
Skeletal restoration showing known remains
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Abelisauroidea
Family: Noasauridae
Genus: Noasaurus
Bonaparte & Powell, 1980
  • N. leali Bonaparte & Powell, 1980 (type)
Reconstructed hypothetical skull based on Masiakasaurus

Noasaurus ("Northwestern Argentina lizard") is the name given to a carnivorous dinosaur genus of the late Campanian-Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous). It was a small (less than eight feet long) theropod, specifically a ceratosaur, discovered by Jaime Powell and José Bonaparte from the Lecho Formation of Salta Province, Argentina, dating to the late Cretaceous period (early Maastrichtian stage, about 70 Ma ago).

Size compared with humans

It was a close relative of the larger abelisaurids; they are both derived from the same basal abelisauroid ancestor. While originally reported to have a raptorial 'sickle claw' on the foot similar to the claws of the more advanced dromaeosaurids, subsequent studies showed that the claw actually came from the hand.[1]

The type species, Noasaurus leali, was described by Bonaparte and Powell in 1980.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Agnolin, F.L. and Chiarelli, P. (2010). "The position of the claws in Noasauridae (Dinosauria: Abelisauroidea) and its implications for abelisauroid manus evolution." Paläontologische Zeitschrift, published online 19 November 2009. doi:10.1007/s12542-009-0044-2


  • Lessem, D. (May 1993). "Jose Bonaparte: Master of the Mesozoic". Omni.