Name: Staurikosaurus pricei
Name Meaning: Price’s Southern Cross Lizard
First Described: 1970
Described by: Colbert
Classification: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Herrerasauridae
Staurikosaurus is yet another early basal Theropod, originating from the Upper Santa Maria Formation in Brazil. It lived about 225 million years ago, in the Carnian stage of the Late Triassic. It was a carnivorous dinosaur, however it might not necessarily have been even a Saurischian. The Herrerasauridae are interesting because they might not be really Saurischians at all, but ancestors to both the saurischian and ornithischian lines. It was lightly built and very similar to its contemporary and cousin Herrerasaurus, but had a longer neck and a larger head. After new research in 2011, however, it is supposed that the Herrerasauridae actually are early Theropods, though it was a primitive member of the group nonetheless due to it having five toes on each foot, rather than the later-common three. It appears to be an active bipedal predator, preying on small and medium-sized terrestrial vertebrates. It was a large early dinosaur, 2 meters long, showing the early diversification of dinosaurs and the trend towards bigger size starting from the beginning.
Weishampel, D. B. (2007). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Dixon, D. (2007). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs. London, England: Anness Publishing.