Stormbergia

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Stormbergia
Temporal range: Early Jurassic, Hettangian–Sinemurian
Stormbergia.jpg
Restoration of Stormbergia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Clade: Genasauria
Clade: Neornithischia
Genus: Stormbergia
Butler, 2005
Species: † S. dangershoeki
Binomial name
Stormbergia dangershoeki
Butler, 2005

Stormbergia is a genus of early ornithischian dinosaur known from the upper Elliot Formation (Early Jurassic: Hettangian-Sinemurian) of South Africa and Lesotho, named by Richard Butler in 2005. The generic name is based upon the 'Stormberg Series' of rocks in southern Africa, which includes the Clarens, Elliot and Molteno Formations, and has yielded substantial information on early dinosaur evolution. Only one species, S. dangershoeki, has been named. The specific name is based upon the location (Dangerhoek Farm) in South Africa at which the holotype specimen was found. The holotype and referred specimens of Stormbergia had been mentioned in the scientific literature as a 'large fabrosaurid' for at least 20 years prior to description. Only postcranial material of Stormbergia is currently known, and details of the postcranial anatomy suggest that this dinosaur was a basal member of the clade Genasauria, although the relationships of early ornithischian dinosaurs are currently in a state of flux.[1] It may represent the adult form of Lesothosaurus.[2]

A study published in 2016 by Baron, Norman & Barrett demonstrated that the differences between Stormbergia and Lesothosaurus are most likely ontogenetic (related to the animal's maturity) rather than taxonomic. Thus, the authors argue that Stormbergia is a junior subjective synonym of Lesothosaurus and should be regarded as invalid. [3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Butler, R.J. (2005). "The 'fabrosaurid' ornithischian dinosaurs of the Upper Elliot Formation (Lower Jurassic) of South Africa and Lesotho". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 145 (2): 175–218. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2005.00182.x. 
  2. ^ Knoll, F.; Padian, K.; de Ricqles, A. (2009). "Ontogenetic change and adult body size of the early ornithischian dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: implications for basal ornithischian taxonomy". Gondwana Research 17 (1): 171–179. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2009.03.010. 
  3. ^ Matthew G. Baron; David B. Norman; Paul M. Barrett (2016). "Postcranial anatomy of Lesothosaurus diagnosticus (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Lower Jurassic of southern Africa: implications for basal ornithischian taxonomy and systematics". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. in press. doi:10.1111/zoj.12434