Pronunciation: el-RAH-zo-SOR-us Meaning: Elrhaz lizard Author/s: Galton (2009) Synonyms: Valdosaurus nigeriensis First Discovery: Agadez, Niger Chart Position: 532
Elrhazosaurus is based on a left thigh that Philippe Taquet collected from the upper part of Niger's Elrhaz Formation in an area known to locals as "the place where camels fear to go". Peter Galton initially assigned it to the dryosaurid Valdosaurus as a second species — Valdosaurus nigeriensis — in 1982. But after studying its trochanters (nubs of bone on the thighbone that serve as muscle attachment points) and noticing a disparity in age between the rocks in which it was found and those that have yielded Valdosaurus fossils, he had a change of heart and bestowed its remains with their current name in 2009.
(Elrhaz lizard from Niger)EtymologyElrhazosaurus is derived from "Elrhaz" (for the Elrhaz Formation) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, nigeriensis, means "from Niger" in Latin.
DiscoveryThe remains of Elrhazosaurus were discovered in the Elrhaz Formation of Gadoufaoua (known in Touareg as “the place where camels fear to go”), Tenere Desert, Agadez, Niger, by Philippe Taquet in 1973. The holotype (MNHN GDF 332, housed at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris) is a left thigh bone (femur).