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What is Hypsilophodontidae?

Pronunciation: hip-sih-LO-fo-DON-tuh-day
Author: Luis Dollo
Year: 1882
Meaning: Hypsilophodon family (see etymology)
Locomotion: Bipedal (2 legs)
Synonyms: None known
[Sereno, 2005]Definition
The most inclusive clade containing Hypsilophodon foxii but not Parasaurolophus walkeri.
About

At one point, paleontologists looked at Hypsilophodontidae as the nexus from which many of the major ornithischian groups sprung, and almost all 2-legged "bird-hipped" dinosaurs that weren't iguanodonts—from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous of Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America and South America—were assigned here.

But over recent years, its members have been shipped off to various other spots on the ornithischian family tree. Now the only "hypsilophodont" left is the group anchor Hypsilophodon, which renders Hypsilophodontidae—a family group without any family members—moot.

You may still hear paleontologists refer to a "hypsilophontont-grade" or "hypsil-grade" critter from time to time. But what they're referring to is a small (1-2 meter), bipedal, swift running, herbivorous ornithischian that's hard to classify with certainty, which is pretty much what all hypsilophodonts used to be.

Click here to search Dinochecker for hypsilophodonts.

Etymology
Hypsilophodontidae is derived from "Hypsilophodon"—for the group anchor Hypsilophodon, itself derived from "Hypsilophus" (a name proposed by Fitzinger for a type of Iguana with a "hypsi" (high) "lophos" (crest) running down its back, and "odon" (tooth)—and the Greek "idae" (family).
Further reading
• Weishampel D.B. and Heinrich R.E. (1992) "Systematics of Hypsilophodontidae and Basal Iguanodontia (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda)". Historical Biology 6(3):159–184.
• Scheetz R.D. (1998) "Phylogeny of basal ornithopod dinosaurs and the dissolution of the Hypsilophodontidae". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18 (3, Suppl.):75A.
• Winkler D.A, Murry P.A. and Jacobs L.L. (1998) "The new ornithopod dinosaur from Proctor Lake, Texas, and the deconstruction of the family Hypsilophodontidae". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18 (3, Suppl.):87A.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is Hypsilophodontidae?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-hypsilophodontidae›. Web access: 28th Apr 2017.
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