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Categories: TheropodaCarnivoreUSAChinleTriassic

CHINDESAURUS

Pronunciation: shin-dee-SOR-us
Meaning: Chinde lizard
Authors: Long and Murry (1995)
Synonyms: Caseosaurus crosbyensis?
First discovery: Arizona, USA
Roar factor: 5/10

Chindesaurus bryansmalli

The skulless partial skeleton of Chindesaurus was discovered at the Navajo Indian-named Chiindii (evil spirit) Point in Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park in 1984, but despite a strictly meat diet and scary connotations it probably wasn't as evil as it sounds.

The type specimen, affectionately known as Gertie, was initially thought to be a sauropod and, at just over two meters long, it was something of a midget in theropod terms. Still, it was plenty big enough to terrorize small defenceless Triassic mammals and probably found itself on the menu of Saurosuchus in return. The mammals may then have eaten the latter's poop. It's called the circle of death.

A partial hip discovered in the Tecovas Formation of Crosby County was originally assigned to Chindesaurus (Long & Murry, 1995) and travelled all around the small primitive predator family tree before becoming Caseosaurus crosbyensis (Hunt et al. 1998) based upon supposed unique features. Rumour has it they have a cheek making such a claim bearing in mind these "unique features" are present on a part of Caseosaurus that has yet to be discovered for Chindesaurus, and some experts believe a full-on synonymy is on the cards... if comparable fossils ever turn up.
(Bryan Small's Chinde lizard)Etymology
Chindesaurus is derived from the Navajo "Chiindii" ("evil spirit" or "ghost") which was anglicized into "Chinde", plus "sauros" which means "lizard" in Greek.
The species epithet, bryansmalli, honors Bryan Small, who made the discovery.
Discovery
The fossils of the Chinde lizard were recovered from the Chinle formation (yes, Chinle not Chinde) in the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1984.
The holotype (PEFO 10395) includes all kinds of vertebrae, a partial left femur and right tibia, a complete right femur, the right ankle, bits of hip and ribs.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Period: Late Triassic
Timespan: 237-228 million years ago
Age: Carnian
Vital Stats:
Est. Max. Length: 2.2 meters
Est. Max. Height: 0.5 meters
Est. Max. Weight: 22 kg
Diet: Carnivorous
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Herrerasauridae
Chindesaurus
bryansmalli
References
• Sterling J. Nesbitt, Randall B. Irmis, William G. Parker (2007) "A critical re-evaluation of the Late Triassic dinosaur taxa of North America".
• Philip J. Currie & Kevin Padian (1997) "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs". /uk.
• M. Langer (2004) "Basal Saurischia" in "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". /uk.
• Sterling J. Nesbitt, Randall B. Irmis, William G. Parker (2006) "Review of the Late Triassic dinosaur record from Petrified Forest National Park".
                    
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To cite this page:
Lee Atkinson (DinoChecker) "CHINDESAURUS: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurs/CHINDESAURUS. Web access: 25th Oct 2014.