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What is Elasmaria?

Pronunciation: ell-as-mah-ree-uh
Authors: Calvo, Porfiri and Novas
Year: 2007
Meaning: Flatplate (see etymology)
Locomotion: Bipedal (2 legs)
Synonyms: None known
[Calvo et al., 2007] Definition
Talenkauen santacrucensis, Macrogryphosaurus gondwanicus, their most recent common ancestor and all descendants.
About
Elasmaria is a clade of basal iguanodontians that lived in Gondwana (current Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia) during the Late Cretaceous. Its members (Elasmarians) were characterized by bowed humeri, tightly bunched foot bones and expanded tail chevrons suggesting they were geared up for speed and balance, and thus occupied an ecological niche different from that of other herbivorous dinosaurs from the same time and place.

Initially, Elasmaria included two critters (Talenkauen santacrucencis and Macrogryphosaurus gondwanicus) that were 4-5 meters in length. But, in 2015, Novas added Morrosaurus, Gasparinisaura, Trinisaura, Notohypsilophodon and Anabisetia which are either much smaller than the founding members or their size is unknown and, funnily enough, they lack the thin plates for which the group was named. They all seem to be able runners, though.

Click here to search Dinochecker for instances of Elasmaria.
Etymology
Elasmaria, in Greek, means "thin plate" and refers to the strange thin plates found within the thorax of its members. Once thought to be armour, most paleontologists now suspect these plates are discs of mineralised intercostal (between the ribs) cartilage.
Relationships
Further reading
• J.O. Calvo, J.D. Porfiri and F.E. Novas (2007) "Discovery of a new ornithopod dinosaur from the Portezuelo Formation, Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina". Arquivos do Museu Nacional. 65 (4): 471–483.
• Rodolfo A. Coria, Juan J. Moly, Marcelo Reguero, Sergio Santillana, Sergio Marenssi (2012) "A new ornithopod (Dinosauria; Ornithischia) from Antarctica". Cretaceous Research, Volume 41, Pages 186–193.
• Sebastin Rozadilla, Federico L. Agnolin, Fernando E. Novas, Alexis M. Aranciaga Rolando, Matías J. Motta, Juan M. Lirio, Marcelo P. Isasi (2015) "A new ornithopod (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Antarctica and its palaeobiogeographical implications". Cretaceous Research, Volume 57, Pages 311–324.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is Elasmaria?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-elasmaria›. Web access: 27th Mar 2017.
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