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GASPARINISAURA

a plant-eating ornithopod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina.
gasparinisaura.png
Pronunciation: gas-pah-REEN-ee-SOR-uh
Meaning: Gasparini's lizard
Author/s: Coria and Salgado (1996)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Río Negro, Argentina
Chart Position: 335

Gasparinisaura cincosaltensis

Initially announced as the first basal iguanodontian known from South America, the teeny Gasparinisaura is one of just a few dinosaurs to be suffixed with the feminine form of lizard ("saura") rather than the masculine form ("saurus"), not because paleontologists thought that the type specimen was a female but because it was named after female paleontologist Zulma Brandoni de Gasparini.

Gasparinisaura is also the first and still one of only a handful of non-sauropod herbivorous dinosaurs to be discovered with gastroliths (stomach stones)—small stones which are swallowed by animals that lack grinding teeth to pulverise plant material and so aid digestion. Oftentimes, ground-grazing critters will accidentally swallow the odd stone that has become tangled within roots and whatnot, but the quantity (100+), type, shape and size of the stones, and the discovery of similar clusters in three separate specimens of Gasparinisaura, make accidental swallowing highly unlikely.
(Gasparini's lizard from Cinco Saltos)Etymology
Gasparinisaura is derived from "Gasparini" (for Zulma Brandoni de Gasparini) and the Greek "saura" (seldom-used feminine form of the masculine "sauros" meaning "lizard"). Other examples are Bonitasaura and Maiasaura. The species epithet, cincosaltensis, refers to its discovery near Cinco Saltos.
Discovery
The remains of Gasparinisaura were discovered in the Anacleto Formation, Río Colorado Subgroup, Neuquén Group, near Cinco Saltos, Río Negro Province, Argentina in 1992.
The holotype (MUCPv-208) is a partial skeleton.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 83-78 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.5 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 12 Kg
Diet: Herbivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Cerapoda
Ornithopoda
Gasparinisaura
cincosaltensis
References
• Coria, R. A. and L. Salgado (1996) "A basal iguanodontian (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda) from the Late Cretaceous of South America".
• L. Salgado, R. A. Coria and S. Heredia (1997) "New materials of Gasparinisaura cincosaltensis (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina".
• D.E. Fastovsky and D.B. Weishampel (2005) "Ornithopods meet history" in
"The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs".
• Ignacio A. Cerda (2008) "Gastroliths in an ornithopod dinosaur". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 53 (2): 351–355.
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs". (Page 278).
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GASPARINISAURA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 22nd Oct 2017.
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