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ZoomDinosaurs.com
What are Taxonomy and Cladistics How Are Dinosaurs Classified? Dinosaur Genera Not Dinosaurs, but Old and Interesting
Major Dinosaur Families Saurischian Dinosaurs
"Lizard-Hipped"
Ornithischian Dinosaurs
"Bird-Hipped"
Dinosaur Cladogram

SAURISCHIAN DINOSAURS

Dinosaurs are divided into two groups based on hip structure, the Order Ornithischia and the Order Saurischia.

The Saurischian dinosaurs (Order Saurischia) were the ancestors of birds. They had a hip structure similar to that of lizards - the pubis bone pointed downwards and forwards. Saurischian skulls also have large, pronounced openings (antorbital fenestrae) between the eye socket and the nares (nostrils), much more so than the ornithischians.

The Saurischians are divided into the sauropodomorpha, four-legged herbivores, and the theropods, two-legged carnivores. The oldest known dinosaurs (Eoraptor and Herrerasaurus) are Saurischians, and date from the mid- to late-Triassic period, about 230 million years ago.


Major divisions of the Saurischian dinosaurs:
SAUROPODOMORPHA
  • Plant eaters
  • Small heads with spatulate or pencil-shaped teeth
  • Usually walked on four legs
  • Largest land animals ever!
THEROPODS
Led to the birds!
  • Fast and agile
  • Carnivorous diet
  • Sharp, slicing teeth or beak, and well-developed jaw muscles
  • Clawed hands (usually with three main digits - exceptions include the Tyrannosaurids, who lost the third digit)
  • Bipedal walk
  • Strong legs with bird-like, clawed feet
  • Large eyes, indicating good eyesight.


The following is a sampling of Saurischian dinosaurs.

Sauropodomorpha (4-legged herbivores)
Prosauropoda (4-legged herbivores)


MASSOSPONDYLUS
Plateosaurus

PLATEOSAURUS


RIOJASAURUS
Sauropoda (large, 4-legged herbivores)


AMARGASAURUS


APATOSAURUS
Brachiosaurus

BRACHIOSAURUS


CAMARASAURUS


DIPLODOCUS
Supersaurus

SUPERSAURUS
Ultrasauros

ULTRASAUROS


ZIGONGOSAURUS



Theropoda ("Beast-footed", 2-legged carnivores, evolved into the birds)


ALBERTOSAURUS


ALLOSAURUS
Baryonyx

BARYONYX


CARCHARODONTOSAURUS
CAUDIPTERYX

COELOPHYSIS


COMPSOGNATHUS


DEINONYCHUS antirrhopus


DILOPHOSAURUS
Eoraptor

EORAPTOR
Gallimimus

GALLIMIMUS
Giganotosaurus

GIGANOTOSAURUS carolinii


MEGALOSAURUS


ORNITHOLESTES


ORNITHOMIMUS


OVIRAPTOR
PROTARCHAEOPTERYX

SALTOPUS
SCIPIONYX SINOSAUROPTERYX

SPINOSAURUS


TROODON


TYRANNOSAURUS rex


UNENLAGIA comahuensis


UTAHRAPTOR


VELOCIRAPTOR


YANGCHUANOSAURUS



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ZoomDinosaurs.com
What are Taxonomy and Cladistics How Are Dinosaurs Classified? Dinosaur Genera Not Dinosaurs, but Old and Interesting
Major Dinosaur Families Saurischian Dinosaurs
"Lizard-Hipped"
Ornithischian Dinosaurs
"Bird-Hipped"
Dinosaur Cladogram




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