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HALTICOSAURUS

a meat-eating coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Germany.
Pronunciation: HAL-tik-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Nimble lizard
Author/s: Huene (1908)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Chart Position: 69

Halticosaurus longotarsus

Halticosaurus was named by Friedrich von Huene in 2008 for a hotch-potch of skull bones, teeth and skeletal fragments that were found mingled with the remains of "Sellosaurus Fraasi" and "Teratosaurus minor", both of which have since been synonymised with Sellosaurus gracilis... which may just be a species of Plateosaurus.

After a thorough review in 1998 by Rauhut and Hungerbuhler who were pretty diplomatic when they described its fossils as "very poorly preserved" there isn't a lot more to say. Two fragmentary Coelophysis-like thighbones are the only remains that can be assigned here with any certainty because the rest, including five-fingered hands, a hip bone sporting only two fused hip vertebrae, and an 18" long, lightly built, large-windowed skull, aren't even identifiable as the property of a theropod dinosaur.

A second species—"Halticosaurus orbitoangulatus", named by von Huene in 1932 for a mangled skull (SMNS 12353b) from southern Germany's Middle Stubensandstein "Faffenhofen Quarry"—turned out to be a crocodylomorph, and a third—"Halticosaurus liliensterni", named by von Huene in 1934 for a pair of fragmentary specimens from Thuringia's Trossingen Formation—was reclassified as Liliensternus liliensterni by Samuel Paul Welles in 1984.
Etymology
Halticosaurus is derived from the Greek "haltikos" (good at leaping, nimble) and "sauros" (lizard), possibly because of the exceptional length and slenderness of a metatarsal which was associated with its remains.
First discovery
Halticosaurus longotarsus was discovered in the Middle Stubensandstein Formation of Weißer Steinbruch, Pfaffenhofen, Baden-Württemberg (one of Germany's 16 states), Germany. The holotype is catalogued as 'SMNS 12353'.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Triassic
Stage: Norian
Age range: 228-209 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: ?
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: ?
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Neotheropoda
Coelophysoidea
Halticosaurus
longotarsus
References
• F. von Huene (1907/1908) "Die Dinosaurier der Europaiaschen Triasformation mit Berucksichtiging der aussereuropaischen Vorkommnisse".
• O.M.W. Rauhut and A. Hungerbuhler (2000) "A review of European Triassic theropods".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "HALTICOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th May 2017.
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