Velocisaurus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Velocisaurus
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Class:
Superorder:
Order:
Suborder:
Infraorder:
Family:
Genus:
Velocisaurus
Species:
V. unicus
Binomial name
Velocisaurus unicus
Bonaparte, 1991

Velocisaurus was a theropod dinosaur related to Ceratosaurus. Its remains were found in Patagonia, in strata from the Cretaceous period.

This animal is known only from its leg and feet bones. Velocisaurus was probably around 1.2 meters long (4 ft). The foot is unique in that the middle (third) metatarsal (foot bone) was the main weight-bearing element. Its upper end has thickened and the shafts of the adjoining second and fourth metatarsals have thinned considerably. Such a condition is unknown for other theropods, including birds, but a similar set-up occurred in three-toed horses (like Mesohippus). José Bonaparte explained it as an adaptation for a cursorial (running) lifestyle. He suggested that Velocisaurus was itself an omnivore, because the sole claw found, of the fourth toe, was not curved, but relatively straight.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Angolín F. Novas F and S. Apesteguía S. 2003. Velocisaurids in South America and Madagascar. Ameghiniana 40(4): 77R.