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Temporal range: Jurassic
Sinraptor hepingensis.jpg
Sinraptor hepingensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda


The tetanurans are a clade which includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds. Tetanurans first appear in the Jurassic. It is a large group of theropod dinosaurs. Gauthier's paper was the first serious application of the science of cladistics to vertebrate paleontology.[1]

The term refers to the stiff tail which was held above the ground as a counterweight when the animal walked or ran.

Tetanurae are defined as all theropods more closely related to modern birds than to Ceratosaurus. Gauthier considered it to consist of Carnosauria and Coelurosauria. Modern birds are the only living representatives of the clade Tetanurae.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Gauthier J.A. 1986. Saurischian monophyly and the origin of birds. In Padian K. The origin of birds and the evolution of flight. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 8. California Academy of Sciences, 1–55. ISBN 0-940228-14-9
  2. Carrano M.T; Benson R.B.J. & Sampson S.D. 2011. The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda). J. Systematic Palaeontology 10 (2) 211–300. [1]